Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Many Massachusetts couples take advantage of divorce mediation

Since Gwyneth Paltrow referred to her divorce as a conscious uncoupling, many people have responded that this is no new way of dissolving a marriage. As far back as 1976, a sociologist published a book on uncoupling relationships, writing about divorces that were jointly decided upon by both spouses. Massachusetts couples who are divorcing may want to consider the advantages of divorce mediation, which is a possible way of minimizing the negative consequences a divorce may have on a family.

Mediation is certainly not suitable for all couples. When two parties are unable to be in one room, or when there is a significant imbalance in power, many mediators may not be able to lead the parties to amicable agreements. In such situations, litigation might be the only way to go. However, more and more American couples seem to prioritize the well-being of their families. Some parents may realize that, although the marriage is ending, the parents and children will forever be linked in a way, and if this can be achieved without antagonism, it could be the way to go.

Divorces that are litigated are said to total less than 5 percent, and they can sometimes take years to finalize and even have devastating consequences for all parties. Mediators, however, are highly qualified people who are trained to be an objective party who can bring people together and lead couples in communication and compromise. Mediation may allow divorced couples to interact cordially post divorce, thereby maintaining unique relationships with each other and the children while moving along with a new life.

By opting for divorce mediation, Massachusetts couples may be able to resolve issues such as child custody and parenting plans, child and spousal support, along with property division. Once agreements have been reached and documented, they can be presented for court approval. This process can allow broken families to focus on their new lives, rather than fighting battles of the past.

Source: New York Post, "Divorcing couples follow Gwyneth's lead and 'consciously uncouple'", Kate Storey, May 27, 2014

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