Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Divorce mediation may have positive long-term benefits

Ending a Massachusetts marriage will never be easy, and the prospect of having one's private affairs discussed in court may be daunting. However, for couples who still have respect for each other and who are on speaking terms, there is an alternative to litigation. Divorce mediation is an option that allows divorcing couples to discuss contentious issues in a calm and non-aggressive atmosphere with the assistance of an unbiased mediator.

Mediation equips adults with the skills to use communication to resolve issues. It is a process that ensures each party gets the opportunity to communicate, and when necessary, compromise is encouraged. Some couples manage to come to mutual agreements on all issues, and their only court appearance may be to get the final divorce decree. Others may need the court to make one or more difficult decisions, and the rest can be done through mediation.

Issues that are typically discussed in mediation include matters related to their children such as custody, parenting and visitation, along with alimony, pensions, property division and more. Making such important decisions while feeling anxious may seem overwhelming, but each spouse is allowed to have his or her attorney present to provide valuable input and look after the client's legal rights. Not only is mediation less stressful, but it is also a process that is typically much less costly and less time-consuming than litigation.

The ability to settle differences through divorce mediation also has a positive impact on children who are spared the antagonism that often goes with courtroom battles. The benefits of communication can even serve the parents well when post-divorce issues arise. However, cases in which communication between spouses has broken down completely may not be suitable for mediation. Discussing the available options with an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney may be the most appropriate step to take when a divorce is considered.

Source:, "The Main Benefits of Mediation in Divorce Cases", Joao Pedro, Oct. 11, 2016

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