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When Should You Choose Collaborative Divorce
There are many law firms that limit their family law practice to collaborative divorce. Our firm does not. We offer a full range of services for divorcing people, including collaborative divorce, mediation and litigation advocacy, including trials in all court in Massachusetts. We are committed to helping each client determine what approach is the most likely one to get them through the divorce process with the best outcome. We consider "best outcome" to include minimizing conflict and acrimony and maintaining post divorce relationships, in addition to financial results, which clients will sometimes make the mistake of concentrating on to the exclusion of other considerations. It is our belief that "collaborative law" optimizes the chances for a "best outcome" but it is not indicated in every case.
What is collaborative divorce?
You should see the other article entitled "Divorce Options" by this author for detail, but essentially in Collaborative Divorce clients choose specially trained collaborative divorce lawyers who are committed to a negotiated settlement. Clients agree in advance not to go to court except for obtaining of the divorce judgment, in an uncontested proceedings. Negotiations are conducted primarily in meetings with clients and attorneys in the room. Full disclosure and transparency is the hallmark of this process. Gamesmanship, threats to "see you in court" and the like are absent from this process. In the event the case does not settle, the collaborative attorneys are required to withdraw from the case and the clients choose new litigation counsel. With this feature the attorneys have no incentive to foster litigation.
Sounds Great right? Why shouldn't everyone choose Collaborative Divorce?
The following are reasons NOT to choose collaborative law:
Most litigated cases end up settling eventually, and for that reason even if Collaborative Divorce, as formally practiced is in appropriate, it does not mean that your divorce will be World War III, however, it is important that clients not be afraid to obtain the protection of the court when indicated.
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Divorcing couples in Massachusetts can divide their property on their own, or they can leave it up to the court, who will divide all the property equitably. When dividing marital property, courts consider such factors as the length of the marriage, the conduct of the spouses, the occupation and income of the spouses, their employability and the opportunity for each spouse to acquire property in the future.
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