Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Negotiating a divorce agreement involves many difficult decisions

The decision to file for divorce in a Massachusetts family court is a difficult one to make, but that is only the first in a long list of important -- and often tricky -- decisions that will follow. This is especially true when there are children involved, because there will forever be a cord that ties the parents together. Before spreading the news of the decision to get divorced, it may be best to consider the options. Can a divorce agreement be reached without litigation, and will conflict resolution through mediation be a suitable route to take?

It is only natural for any person going through a divorce to want to protect him or herself and the children. There will be many decisions to make, and although many people navigate their divorces without legal counsel, the support and guidance of a skilled divorce attorney can be invaluable. Retaining the services of an attorney does not mean the divorce will be litigated, but it may prevent future litigation. Leaving a seemingly insignificant matter unaddressed may cause post-divorce contention that may be expensive to resolve.

For a less traumatic, less time-consuming and more cost-effective divorce that will benefit both spouses and their children, alternative dispute resolution methods, such as divorce mediation, may help to negotiate a settlement that addresses all contentious issues. With the facilitation provided by a qualified and impartial divorce mediator, matters such as child custody, property division, trusts, estates, probate and more can be resolved. If the mediator is an attorney, he or she may not give legal advice but will help identify areas of disagreement and find solutions that can lead to an ultimate settlement.

Both parties may benefit from the skills of their respective attorneys during mediation sessions. They can ensure that all important issues are addressed and may even provide valuable input based on their experiences. Once a divorce agreement is reached, the attorneys can ensure that the drafted documents comply with Massachusetts laws before presenting them to the divorce court.

Source: commdiginews.com, "Choose the kind of divorce best suited to your needs", Myra Fleischer, July 18, 2016

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