Amaral & Associates, P.C. - Divorce, Family Law

Posts Tagged divorce mediation suffolk county

Sound Reasons Why You Should Mediate Your Divorce.

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I have been a divorce attorney for over 25 years and a divorce mediator for almost as long. When a potential client asks me whether they should mediate their divorce or whether they should just get their own attorney and file for a contested divorce, I tell them the following. A contested divorce can last well over a year. In fact, in Massachusetts, the tracking order assigned to your contested divorce is for fourteen (14) months. Which means that the life span of a contested divorce can be as much as 14 months. During this time frame, the parties will exchange financial documents, attend numerous hearings on temporary orders in court, have a pre-trial hearing followed up by status conferences and then a trial if your case does not settle. All of this discovery and all of the court hearings and meetings or phone call with your attorney will cost you money in legal fees both to you and your spouse. A divorce attorney can make 10-20 times more in legal fees on a contested case then they can … Read More »



FAQ’s About Divorce in Massachusetts

Here are some common FAQ’s About Divorce in Massachusetts:

 

Q: Should I file first for divorce?

A: The answer to this question is largely a case-specific answer.

 

The determination of value of assets, which goes to the equitable division of marital assets pursuant to M.G.L. c. 208 §34, is determined from the date of marriage to the date the Defendant was served. Thus, if the plaintiff intends on acquiring substantial assets in the future, it could be beneficial to file for divorce prior to acquiring these assets.

 

Additionally, should the divorce case go to trial, the Plaintiff has the right to present their case first, along with the right of rebuttal after the Defendant has presented his/her side of the case. Being able to be the party to present his/her case first at trial can set the tone of the trial, and leave an impression on the judge.

 

However, divorce is also a very emotional and personal decision. If you believe that you are not emotionally ready to file for divorce, or that the marriage may still … Read More »



The Benefits of Settling Your Divorce or Family Law Case Outside of Court

Divorce Massachusetts, Divorce Mass., Divorce Suffolk County, Divorce Middlesex County, Divorce Essex County, Divorce Norfolk County, Divorce Boston, Divorce Winthrop, Divorce East Boston, Divorce Revere, Divorce Danvers, Divorce Lynnfield, Divorce Marblehead, Divorce Swampscott, Divorce Nahant, Divorce Peabody, Divorce Salem, Divorce Saugus, Divorce Arlington, Divorce Belmont, Divorce Burlington, Divorce Cambridge, Divorce Everett, Divorce Malden, Divorce Medford, Divorce Melrose, Divorce North Reading, Divorce Reading, Divorce Somerville, Divorce Stoneham, Divorce Wakefield, Divorce Watertown, Divorce Wilmington, Divorce Winchester, Divorce Woburn, Divorce Brookline, Divorce Braintree, Divorce Milton, Divorce Quincy, Divorce ChelseaAll divorce and family law cases are stressful and emotional. Sometimes the first instinct of parents and spouses is to tell their ex “See you in court.” Although it can be emotionally satisfying to have your day in court and have your case heard by a Probate and Family Court judge, it may not be beneficial to you or your children.

 

Probate and Family Court judges all have very large dockets and caseloads. Each judge tries to give an adequate amount of time to each case, but given the backlog within the courts, this is not … Read More »



Is Divorce Mediation Right for You?

There are many benefits to divorce mediation, but it is not always right for each couple. If you are thinking about getting divorced, and you can’t decide whether to try divorce mediation, here are some things to consider.

 

In divorce mediation a couple can work together amicably to resolve the issues relating to the divorce. Through this process there is less stress and drama. Divorce mediation uses a collaborative process where you and your spouse are in control and make the decisions, and not a judge. It typically takes a shorter amount of time and is more cost effective. Rather than the spouse against spouse model of traditional litigation, this is a mutual process, and you can leave the mediation process on good terms, which does not always happen with litigation.

 

However, divorce mediation is not for everyone. There are certain circumstances where divorce mediation may not work. One instance is where this is a history or abuse or violence in the relationship, or where one spouse is over-bearing or controlling of the other spouse. Because of this imbalance in power and control, divorce mediation is not always beneficial for … Read More »



What Happens During a Divorce Mediation Session?

Divorce MediationCouples contemplating a divorce may consider divorce mediation as a cheaper, more amicable method to divorce. However, before selecting divorce mediation, couples may wonder what happens during a mediation session. This is a brief description of what happens in a mediation session.

 

There are many issues that must be addressed in a divorce: 1) child support, 2) child custody, 3) alimony, 4) division of property; 5) maintaining health insurance, and 6) filing taxes and child dependency exemptions. All of these topics must be addressed in mediation.

 

If you have children, of course one of the major issues to be addressed is custody and support. Thus, a large amount of time will be spent addressing who will have custody, what the parenting schedule will be like, who will pay child support, and how much. In addressing these issues, the parties will have consider:

 

How to share transportation of the children; Holiday and vacation parenting time; Children’s participation in extracurricular activities and sports, and how to pay for these activities; and Weekly parenting schedule

 

But in addition to these … Read More »



The Benefits of Mediating or Arbitrating Your Family Law Case

The Benefits of Mediating or Arbitrating Your Family Law CaseIn Massachusetts, divorce and Family Law cases are handled by the Probate and Family Court. Under Massachusetts, law, proceedings in the Probate and Family Court are public and can be observed by anyone. Additionally, almost all cases in the Probate and Family Court are scheduled to be heard at 8:30 a.m. (which can be as many as 75-100 cases scheduled to be heard that day), and then the judge calls all cases in whatever order he/she deems fit. This means, if your case is heard first, there can be over 100 people in the courtroom to listen to the issues pending in your case.

Additionally, the Probate and Family Court is notoriously backlogged. Thus, it can take a few months before a motion on your case is heard, and a few years before your case goes to trial.

Given the very sensitive nature of divorce and Family Law proceedings, many spouses and parents do not want their family issues presented and argued in … Read More »



The Benefits of Mediating or Arbitrating Your Family Law Case

In Massachusetts, divorce and Family Law cases are handled by the Probate and Family Court. Under Massachusetts, law, proceedings in the Probate and Family Court are public and can be observed by anyone. Additionally, almost all cases in the Probate and Family Court are scheduled to be heard at 8:30 a.m. (which can be as many as 75-100 cases scheduled to be heard that day), and then the judge calls all cases in whatever order he/she deems fit. This means, if your case is heard first, there can be over 100 people in the courtroom to listen to the issues pending in your case.

Mediation

Additionally, the Probate and Family Court is notoriously backlogged. Thus, it can take a few months before a motion on your case is heard, and a few years before your case goes to trial.

 

Given the very sensitive nature of divorce and Family Law proceedings, many spouses and parents do not want their family issues presented and argued in open court. Further, given the nature of … Read More »



Collaborate or Mediate Your Divorce?

The Benefits of Mediating or Arbitrating Your Family Law CaseWhen considering friendlier alternatives to divorce litigation, you should understand the differences and similarities of the options available to you. Specifically, mediation and collaboration are two popular forms of alternative dispute resolution that might sound similar in theory but have different practical implications. You should choose according to a style that most caters to your relationship with your spouse and/or your lawyers.

A divorce mediator might be a lawyer, finance professional, or social worker. They are trained in all aspects of divorce mediation: economical, legal, and psychological. Mediators who are certified have gone through minimum hourly requirements for training in dispute resolution, as well as divorce proceedings and issues. Mediators are trained to be neutral third parties to a mediation session. They do not represent either party, and cannot offer legal advice to any party; although the parties may retain counsel on their own to assist them in the process, if they wish. At the end of mediation, the mediator will draft the terms of settlement for both parties to review … Read More »



11 Essential Tips to Create a Brighter Future After Divorce

The key to life after divorce is to follow a post-divorce plan. With so many things affecting your life during and after your divorce, a plan can bring a lot of comfort and needed stability to your life and help you to move more positively into the future. There will inevitably be many things that you cannot control as much as you would like to during this process, so it is important to take hold of those things which you can control and use them to surround yourself with calm during the storm. Just like your children will need predictability, comfort, and safety in order to function most efficiently and effectively, so too is it important to create such an environment for yourself as you embark on this new life after divorce

1. Is a divorce mediator for you? An experienced divorce mediator, who is also a lawyer, can help to keep the peace if you and your spouse are entering divorce on cordial terms and with similar goals for the future. By allowing the divorce process to take place in a collaborative instead of adversarial manner, you can … Read More »



Making the Most of Your First Meeting with a Divorce Lawyer

With the prospect of divorce comes a lot of unknown territory that is sure to make you uneasy. While you may think of meeting with a divorce lawyer as your “first step,” the preparation should actually begin before you walk into their office. There are many things you can do to make sure that this first step is as productive and useful as possible and that much of the uneasiness that comes along with divorce remains at bay.

Arrive early: Just like at the doctor’s office, there is usually preliminary paperwork that you will need to fill out prior to your first meeting. Information that is often needed on this paperwork includes: both parties’ full names, contact information, employment and income information, dates of birth, social security numbers, past addresses, as well as applicable information for your children. Prepare a list of questions: This is a very helpful way to prepare for your first meeting with a divorce lawyer. Once you walk into the lawyer’s office, more likely than not you will be overwhelmed with emotions and the prospect of what is to come. … Read More »



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