Massachusetts Divorce and Separation Agreements

Divorce is a complicated and emotional ordeal. Divorcing parents with young children have additional considerations over childless couples. The many complexities involved in reaching a desired outcome during a divorce, are weighed according to a number of different factors. In some cases, it can be helpful to ask an attorney to draw up a Separation Agreement.

A Separation Agreement is a written document that determines how the divorcing parties will handle matters relating to the end of the marriage. This Agreement can serve to clarify and simplify the overall divorce process. Normally, the agreement deals with child custody issues, parental access, child support, alimony and division of assets and similar issues. The Agreement is only good if both parties agree to its terms and sign it freely, voluntarily, knowingly and without duress or intimidation. The Separation Agreement usually becomes part of the final divorce judgment. It should be noted that a judge can refuse to accept a Separation Agreement if he or she deems it unfair according to the circumstances under which it is presented.

If you are considering divorce and would like to discuss the importance of a Separation Agreement, please contact our office to schedule your consultation with an attorney.

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.

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