Preparing For Divorce Mediation

Divorce is always a painful process. Splitting assets for its cash value is often a difficult end to a relationship that did not work out. Emotions run high, even in an amicable divorce. Being prepared is the best way to ensure both parties receive their fair share of the marital assets and debts. Listing shared properties of value, dividing properties with written evaluations by a neutral party and listing all goals for the divorce mediation are important to avoid costly mistakes.

List All Items of Value
Every couple has items of value. A family home is a piece of real property. Vehicles, jewelry, family heirlooms and furniture may all have monetary value. Family businesses or savings and retirement accounts are part of the marital assets as well. Credit card or loan debt is part of the equation too. These items are all part of the property settlement for the divorce. Dividing them equitably between the partners is the goal of mediation. Having a list of all valued property makes division easier and ensures both parties receive their fair share.

Evaluating the Property
Written evaluations by a neutral third-party can be extremely useful to the mediation. This helps establish actual values and equity of the property. It keeps the mediation on a successful track for both parties.

Bring a Written List of Goals
Mediation is a form of negotiation. It is important for each person to know their goals. Writing them down gives a person the opportunity to ensure they reach their goals. It is difficult to make changes once a mediation agreement is complete. Referring to a list of properties being split and their value ensures nothing is forgotten in the final mediation agreement.

Mediation is often a cost-effective way for couples to divide their assets without the cost of litigation. Being prepared for the mediation is the best way to achieve a fair settlement in a timely fashion for both parties. If you are considering divorce mediation, please call our office to learn more.

How Child Custody Is Determined Under Massachusetts Law

In Massachusetts, several factors are used to determine child custody between two parents seeking divorce or between unmarried couples who cannot come to custody terms following separation.

Massachusetts law recognizes four different types of custody:

• Sole legal custody
• Shared legal custody
• Sole physical custody
• Shared physical custody

In the first and third statuses, only one parent has the right and responsibility regarding the child’s welfare, including education, medical care, and emotional, moral and religious development. Shared custody allows both parents to make decisions. Physical custody status goes one step further by determining whether children will live with only one or spend time living with both parents in addition to determining who will be responsible for their welfare. [Continue reading]

Massachusetts Child Support Law

In the event of a divorce, one parent may be ordered by the court to pay child support. Under Massachusetts law, both parents are required to support their children—and this is true regardless of marital status (whether the parents are married, … [Continue reading]

Establishing Paternity in Massachusetts

When a child is born to two married parents, they are placed on the child's birth certificate. However, when parents are unmarried, paternity must be legally established in order for the non-birth parent to appear on the child's birth certificate and … [Continue reading]

Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act

Many parents-to-be wonder just how much time from work they can take off when their child is born. Effective April 7, 2015, under Massachusetts law, men and women will both be covered under the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA), which makes … [Continue reading]

Excellent Advocate

Compassionate. Easy to talk to. Direct. Extremely well informed and connected. This is not the guy lawyer jokes are written about. This is an honest, calm, reasonable person who advocates tirelessly for the truth. A valuable member of our MA legal … [Continue reading]