Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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How you ask for divorce may pave the way for divorce mediation

In many Massachusetts marriages, there come a time when one of the spouses realize that it would be best for all parties concerned to end the marriage. However, this is probably one of the most difficult conversations to have. Whichever approach is chosen, it may be best to do this in a manner that will not give rise to conflict. Some suggest that telling a spouse about your decision must pave the way for divorce mediation during which contentious issues might be resolved in an amicable manner.

Professionals such as marriage counselors and divorce mediators may have some valuable advice. It is suggested that this important conversation must be saved for a time when the children are not around, and both spouses are in a relaxed mood. It is best to tell the children when more clarity about the divorce plans is available. Doing it at a time when both spouses are tired after a day's work may end in an argument.

Words must be chosen carefully, and empathy must be the goal. The blaming game will not suffice, and it is advised that the subject is approached as an opportunity for a new beginning rather than the end of the marriage. The feelings of the other spouse, regardless of what led to the situation, must be considered throughout the conversation. If it is impossible to have this conversation in a one-on-one situation, some suggest it should be broached during a marriage counseling session at which time the support of a marriage counselor may suggest the process of peaceful negotiations.

While it is also possible to ask a Massachusetts divorce attorney to draft a carefully worded letter to advise a spouse of the intention to file for divorce, there are other options that may have long-term benefits for parents and children. With the support of their respective legal representatives, divorce mediation may suit some families. Spouses may be able to retain their respect for each other and parent-child relationships with their children through communication and compromise that can be facilitated by an experienced divorce mediator.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How To Ask Your Spouse For A Divorce, According To Experts", Brittany Wong, Nov. 25, 2015

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