Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

Affordable divorce for Massachusetts residents

Since the beginning of the recession, many families in Worcester, Massachusetts, may have encountered financial challenges in their everyday lives. For this reason, people became more conscious of how they can acquire good quality service with affordable prices. Such concerns may also arise in the event of a divorce.

Because saving and affordability are a necessity in a divorce situation, divorcing couples in Massachusetts may be glad to know that they have some alternatives to costly divorce litigation when it comes to ending their marriage; they can have a collaborative divorce or divorce mediation. These two options can resolve divorce issues such as property division or child custody. Divorce mediation may help a divorcing couple to end the marriage affordably.

While collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are two legal options for ending the marriage, they are quite different. Accordingly, divorcing couples who prefer collaborative divorce may each have their own attorney. Each attorney has the goal of negotiating rather than ending up in court. It is preferable to reach a settlement outside of the courtroom. If the negotiations cannot be resolved in collaborative divorce, it may cost the spouses additional money because they need to start over with new attorneys.

If affordability is the main concern, the answer may be divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is considered the cheapest way to end the marriage. Just like collaborative divorce, the process can be completed outside of court. In divorce mediation, both parties have to work together with a neutral mediator. The mediator will facilitate the negotiations until both parties come to an agreement. While mediators may not lay down a fair solution, both parties may consult with an attorney before or while undergoing the process. The consulting attorney may state the divorce issues that need a fair settlement. Although an attorney is involved, the cost is less than retaining an attorney to litigate the issues in court would be.

In the event of divorce, the spouses may have a difficult time coming up with the money that is needed for legal fees. If the couple chooses divorce mediation, they can end their marriage with less financial difficulty than they would experience in a traditional divorce.

Source: Main Street, "The ABC's of Affordable Divorce," Elise Pettus, April 24, 2013

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