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Massachusetts divorce does not have to mean a day in court

When it comes to divorce, the most traditional route involves going to court. However, in Massachusetts and elsewhere, there is a way to conduct the divorce process outside of court that is typically less time-consuming, more cost-effective and less stressful. This method, known as collaborative divorce, often leads to a better outcome for everyone involved, which can help divorcing spouses and their children move on with their lives much faster.

Collaborative divorce is conducted as a meeting between the involved parties and their attorneys. During the meeting, they discuss issues such as dividing assets, handling debts and managing the custody and care of the children. The divorcing spouses and lawyers work together until a consensus is reached. Documents are not filed until an agreement is reached, so the meeting itself remains a private matter.

This method of divorce also avoids litigation, which pits spouses and their lawyers against each other. Litigation that gets particularly nasty can have a negative impact on the children. Ultimately, couples who go to court get their divorce, but the judge does not necessarily solve all the problems that need to be worked out. The litigation process also involves keeping a public record of all the proceedings.

Collaborative divorce does not work for everyone, but it can be a good option if the split is amicable. Massachusetts couples seeking a divorce may wish to seek guidance on the options that are available to them, so they can figure out what best meets their needs. Moving on from a divorce may be challenging, but it may be considerably easier if the couple can avoid a contentious and expensive court case.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "A friendlier divorce," Pamela E. Spencer, Dec. 14, 2012

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