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An easier divorce in Massachusetts -- the collaborative approach

Divorces are often portrayed as contentious, ongoing and bitter. In many cases, this is an accurate portrayal. However, they don't necessarily have to be this way. For example, Massachusetts couples who opt to go through a collaborative divorce process find the issues are settled much more easily and quickly. This option has become increasingly popular and utilized over the last few years.

Just like in a traditional divorce, both spouses hire their own attorneys. They two attorneys work together to hire a mental health professional and financial expert. Then everyone sits down together to divide assets and agree on custody issues and alimony over a series of meetings. The financial expert can provide advice while the mental health professional ensures that the meetings go smoothly. Once both sides are satisfied, they go before a judge who finalizes the divorce.

The collaborative divorce process has many benefits. Because concerns are aired out privately, outside of the courtroom, the issues raised often remain private. Additionally, some experts estimate that a collaborative divorce costs anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000 less than a traditional divorce. And through this process, the former couple has more power in the divorce process because they are able to create their own plans.

Simply due to human nature, the divorce process will likely never be completely free of pain and acrimony. However, a collaborative divorce can ease a couple into a divorce, with experts to guide them every step of the way. It is simply an option available for couples in Massachusetts who are seeking to end their marriage in a civil, efficient and inexpensive manner.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, Kinder, gentler divorces take the bite out of break-ups, Ray Reyes, Sept. 15, 2013

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