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Collaboration can make for a faster, cheaper divorce

Many Massachusetts spouses are well aware that their marriage has simply run its course. Both partners often agree that divorce offers the best possible path forward, and there is very little anger or resentment between the parties. In such cases, a traditionally litigated divorce may not offer the best option, and alternative divorce practices could be a better fit. Collaboration is one such choice, and divorcing couples should look into whether this option is a good match for their particular goals and needs.

With a collaborative approach, spouses choose attorneys that are trained in the method and are willing to work toward a divorce agreement that takes place outside of a courtroom. The parties then make use of other professionals, such as a financial advisor, real estate appraiser, retirement planner and so on, to better understand the layout of their marital assets and how various division strategies could play out. Taking this multidisciplinary approach allows both partners to make decisions that fit their long-term goals.

This is in direct opposition to the way that many litigated divorces work out. When spouses take an adversarial stance toward one another, the focus turns toward fighting over various assets, and away from preserving as much marital wealth as possible. In the end, both spouses can emerge with less than they could have if they had worked together to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

Collaboration is not a good fit for every Massachusetts family, and will never work when one or both spouses intend to use their divorce as a means of revenge. However, spouses who are able to see the benefits of a collaborative approach are often able to work through the end of their marriage more quickly and with less stress than those who take a different stance. In addition, the total cost of a collaborative divorce can be far less than one fought out in court.

Source:, Andrew Wolfson, Dec. 15, 2013

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