Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Divorce mediation can help with dividing sentimental posessions

It is often the possessions to which divorcing spouses in Massachusetts have strong sentimental attachments that cause the most personal trauma and even contention in divorce proceedings. Each spouse may find they are able to list monetary assets and agree on how that must be divided, but when it comes to a favorite painting or antique rocking chair, it may prove more difficult, and divorce mediation may resolve the issue. If a couple cannot come to mutual agreements, thereby necessitating a litigated divorce, they must be prepared to accept the manner in which a judge decides to divide their property.

More and more couples are recognizing the power of mediation. This process utilizes the services of a professional divorce mediator who act as a neutral third party and facilitates communication. When there are stumbling blocks, the mediator can guide couples to compromise in manners that may ultimately lead to fair and equitable division. In addition to negotiations about possessions, matters such as child custody, visitation and parenting plans can also be negotiated during mediation.

Many families consider their pets as family members, and both parents and their children may be devastated if they have to go forward without a beloved pet. Pet custody has become one of the contentious matters resolved by mediators instead of allowing a court to treat the pet like it would a piece of furniture. During mediation, couples can work out a pet-sharing plan and also come to agreement about assigning responsibility for pet-related expenses.

Massachusetts spouses who have concerns about the protection of their legal rights during mediation sessions may find comfort in learning that both spouses may be represented by their respective attorneys throughout the divorce mediation proceedings. In addition to valuable input, an experienced divorce attorney can ensure his or her client is treated fairly and that all agreements meet legal requirements. Furthermore, the ultimate divorce agreement will be signed in the presence of the attorneys and made ready to present in a family court that will issue the final divorce decree.

Source: afairway.com, "Dividing Personal Assets in a Divorce -- How Mediation Can Help", Accessed on Oct. 30, 2015

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