Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Divorce mediation for a stable financial future in Massachusetts

It is not uncommon for one or both parties in a Massachusetts divorce to want to punish the other party by using money as a weapon. This typically happens when one or both parties are highly emotional and not able to consider the consequences of such actions. Unfortunately, the results are often financially detrimental. Collaborative divorce options like divorce mediation, on the other hand, have proven to be helpful to many couples.

It is understandable for divorcing spouses to be emotional during this time, but it is crucial for both spouses to push emotions aside. If they find it impossible to discuss important financial matters in a calm way, they may want to consider using a mediator to ease them through the process of collaboration. A mistake often made is for the spouse who will have the children to want to keep the family home. Consider that the house will have to be refinanced, in order to reimburse the other party, and this can leave the new owner of the house with high mortgage payments. In addition, in a quest to fairly divide assets, the other spouse will retain ownership of many marketable assets that could have proven beneficial to both.

The services of a financial planner may also be of great benefit when couples negotiate their way through asset division. Each spouse may want to consider their post-divorce finances and draw up a detailed budget. It is not as simple as just dividing assets equally; there are more things to consider. Matters like deferred tax liabilities, liquidity and risk form an important part of decisions related to the financial future of each party.

While it is sometimes difficult for both spouses to move past the need for retaliation for failures that may have caused the breakdown of the marriage, it is important for each party to push those feelings aside and focus on a stable financial future. With the involvement of an objective third party, divorce mediation may be the best way to ensure no long-term remorse after the divorce. Being prepared before going to a Massachusetts court may also save on legal fees.

Source: wsj.com, "Don`t Use Money as a Weapon in Divorce", Eleanor Blayney, April 17, 2014

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