Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Mediation helps resolve property division disputes amicably

Dissolving a marriage can be so emotional that many experts frequently advise both parties to act rationally, and never let emotions rule their decisions. However, that could be easier said than done. In Worcester, Massachusetts, divorcing couples should know that their future financial situation could depend on the results of property division, and a financially trained legal mediator can lend a rational hand to negotiations.

Disputes arising from financial issues often lead to divorce. Once a couple decides to end their marriage, those issues become even more fractious. Lifestyle change, and cutting expenses may prevent spouses from settling issues amicably. According to reports, in Worcester, Massachusetts, and across the state, most divorces settle with each spouse receiving about half of marital assets. From a financial standpoint, settling asset division through a civil and cooperative approach is ideal. A contentious divorce may end up with one spouse getting more or less than what is fair.

Often, shared properties, such as the marital home and retirement accounts, need special attention during asset division because they are subject to certain rules. These types of asses often require proper and fair value assessment.

In addition, distribution of assets must be accomplished fairly, if a child is involved. Once a household is separated into two, the support of the child may depend on the one parent earning an income. If a spouse is not part of the workforce and has not been contributing directly to the family's finances, it may be difficult for him or her to move on after divorce.

A fresh start after a divorce can happen if both parties are willing to collaborate, and treat the divorce as if it were a business. Through a mediator, such as a family law professional, spouses can talk through financial issues to provide a win-win situation.

Source: Financial Planning, "Divorce Ahead? Help Clients Get a Fair Deal," Elliot M. Kass, Nov. 21, 2013

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