The customary way to handle a divorce in Massachusetts has been to go to court. However, the customary way is not necessarily the best way, and when it comes to your divorce, you have options other than litigation. One increasingly common alternative is divorce mediation.
According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, divorce mediation has several advantages over litigation. The following are a few examples.
In a divorce trial, you put your fate into the hands of a judge. By contrast, when you mediate your divorce, you have control over the process, meaning that no one can force a decision on you that you do not want.
Compliance with a mediated divorce agreement tends to be higher than with an adjudicated resolution, and mediated divorce agreements tend to stand the test of time. It seems to be human nature to accept and follow decisions that you make for yourself rather than those that an authority figure imposes on you.
The final written agreement between the two parties to your divorce is the only record of the mediation process. The statements you and your spouse make and your communications during the process remain confidential. This allows you to maintain more privacy than a divorce trial would afford you.
Because you have control over the mediation process, you can schedule it for when you are ready rather than waiting for the court to arrange a trial. Because mediation dispenses with most of the formalities required for a trial, it typically takes a much shorter time to reach a resolution.
Many couples successfully use mediation to reach a divorce agreement. However, there is no guarantee that it will be effective in every case. Litigation is always an option in the event that mediation fails.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.