Going through divorce can be overwhelming, especially when there are countless decisions to be made, and emotions are running high. But there’s a gentler, more cooperative approach available to couples in Massachusetts: the divorce collaboration process. This method allows couples to work together to reach a mutual agreement with the guidance and support of their respective attorneys.
The Basics of Divorce Collaboration in Massachusetts
The collaborative divorce process in Massachusetts is a unique and effective way for couples to resolve their differences and reach a settlement that benefits both parties. It is a voluntary process where the spouses and their attorneys commit to working together to find solutions that are fair and equitable without the need for court intervention. Here are some of the steps you will usually follow:
- Choose Collaborative Divorce: The first step in the collaborative divorce process is deciding to proceed collaboratively rather than through litigation. This requires a commitment from both spouses to work together, with the help of their respective attorneys, to reach a settlement that is fair and equitable.
- Hire a Collaborative Divorce Attorney: Each spouse must hire an attorney trained in collaborative law. It’s essential to choose an attorney like us who understands the collaborative process and has experience facilitating negotiations and resolving disputes non-adversarially.
- Sign a “No Court” Agreement: Once the attorneys are on board, all parties sign a “no court” agreement. This agreement is a binding contract that stipulates the divorce will be settled through collaboration and negotiation without going to court.
- Gather Information: The next step is gathering all the necessary information. This includes financial documents, information about assets and liabilities, and any other relevant details that will help in the negotiation process.
- Negotiate a Settlement: The negotiations are a critical part of the collaborative divorce process. The goal is to reach a settlement that is fair and equitable for both spouses.
- Draft and Sign the Agreement: Once a settlement has been reached, the attorneys will draft the settlement agreement. This document outlines all the settlement terms, including property division, alimony, child support, and other relevant details.
- File for Divorce: After the settlement agreement has been signed, the next step is to file for divorce. In Massachusetts, this involves filing a complaint for divorce, along with the settlement agreement, in the appropriate court.
- Finalize the Divorce: In Massachusetts, the court will review the settlement agreement, and if it meets all the legal requirements, the divorce will be finalized, and a judgment of divorce will be issued.
Key Players in the Process
In addition to each spouse and their attorneys, other professionals may be brought in to assist with specific aspects of the divorce. For example, financial specialists can help sort out complex financial issues, while child specialists can offer insights into the needs of the children involved. These experts work together with the couple to create a well-rounded, comprehensive divorce agreement.
How Decisions are Made
During the collaborative process, the spouses meet with their attorneys and the other professionals in a series of meetings. These meetings are designed to facilitate open communication and problem-solving. The couple has the opportunity to express their needs, concerns, wishes and to work together to find solutions that are fair and equitable for both parties.
The Benefits of Choosing Collaboration
The collaborative divorce process has several advantages over traditional divorce litigation. It’s typically less adversarial, less time-consuming, and less expensive. Additionally, the collaborative process allows couples to maintain control over the decisions that will affect their lives rather than leaving those decisions in the hands of a judge. And because the process is more cooperative, it often leads to better communication and a more positive post-divorce relationship.
Why Choose Reade Law Firm, PC, for Your Collaborative Divorce
At Reade Law Firm, PC, we empower clients to find the best path forward during a challenging time. Our team of experienced attorneys are trained in collaborative law and committed to helping you reach a fair and amicable resolution to your divorce. We understand the importance of preserving relationships, especially when children are involved, and we’ll work diligently to help you achieve your objectives while maintaining your peace of mind.
Let the knowledgeable team at Reade Law Firm, PC, empower you to find your best way forward during and after the divorce. We help you achieve the objectives that mean the most to you while preserving your peace of mind. Contact us online or call us at (978) 767-8383. We’re happy to help.