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

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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 »



Mediating Your Prenuptial Agreement

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

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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 »



How to Find a Good Divorce Mediator? Your Five Rules of Thumb

good mediatorIf you came to the conclusion that you prefer to handle your divorce through mediation — you have made the right choice. Choosing a good divorce mediator is an essential step, and crucial to the success of the process. Here are five rules of thumb in choosing the right mediator for your divorce.

1. A good divorce mediator makes it easy and affordable for you.

Look for a divorce mediator who offers a flat fee for all the services they provide, as well as a free divorce consultation that includes a complete marital estate assessment. That way, you and your spouse know up front what is involved. Also, make sure your divorce mediator assists with the administrative filing of the divorce decree.

2. A good choice for a divorce mediator is an expert who is dedicated exclusively to the practice of divorce mediation.

Often times, you will find divorce mediators who are primarily private divorce litigation attorneys who practice divorce mediation as a secondary specialty. Although they can also be effective, a divorce litigation attorney is trained with a mindset that may not always be ideal for mediation. They are trained … Read More »



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