While you may be more than ready to terminate your relationship with your spouse and move forward with your life independently, unfortunately, the process of settling a divorce can take many months. Attorney Heather M. Ward can help you to understand the divorce settlement process, including issues that must be resolved before your divorce can be finalized, the various methods of settling your divorce, and more. To get started, call the Law Office of Heather M. Ward directly today.
Issues that Must Be Resolved Prior to Settlement
Reaching a divorce settlement refers to determining how issues in your divorce will be resolved. For some couples, this is easy – in fact, some couples file for divorce having already reached an agreement. For others, though, coming to an agreement can take months of negotiation and, in some cases, litigation. Issues that must be resolved prior to your divorce being finalized include:
- Division of debts and assets;
- Spousal maintenance;
- Child support; and
- Child custody.
Methods of Settling a Divorce
There are various types of divorce and methods of settling a divorce. In some cases, as stated above, parties to a divorce may be in agreement about issues in the divorce before papers are even filed. When this is the case, the court will likely just sign off on the divorce. When parties are not in agreement, however, there are four primary methods of settling a divorce:
- Collaborative divorce. Collaborate divorce is a process whereby both parties to the divorce agree to resolve issues in a way that is amicable and collaborative. In fact, parties must enter a participation agreement that states that neither party will turn to litigation.
- Mediation. Another method of resolving a divorce that focuses on minimizing conflict is mediation. During mediation, parties work with a neutral third-party mediator whose role is to facilitate conversation and help parties reach a compromise.
- Divorce arbitration. If mediation fails, divorce arbitration may be the next option. Arbitration is similar to litigation in that the issues in a divorce will be decided by a third party – an arbitrator. Arbitration is often less expensive and quicker than litigation, and is also private.
- Litigation. Finally, if no other options are successful, litigation is the final method of settling a divorce. Litigation can be very expensive, time-consuming, and emotional. Our lawyer recommends exhausting all other options first.
The Role of Your Divorce Attorney During Settlement
Reaching a divorce settlement can be trying. Throughout the process, your attorney will be responsible for representing your best interests, advising you of your options and legal rights, presenting your case to the court or your spouse’s attorney, and gathering evidence to support your case.
At the Law Office of Heather M. Ward, our divorce attorney has years of experience and is here to help you reach a divorce settlement that meets your needs. To learn more about reaching a divorce settlement in Massachusetts, please call our team today or send us a message. You can reach us at 617-903-8955.