Legal counsel may be used in conjunction with other experts.

Take control of your future and your children’s future by handling your dispute out of court.

Divorce can be one of the most difficult decisions to make and endure. When deciding whether to proceed with this step, educating yourself about the law and your options of how to proceed with the process is the key to success.

There are alternatives to litigation, such as mediation and collaborative law which allow you to protect your rights by keeping the process fair but yet non-contentious.

Mediation is where a trained third party neutral works with the couple to discuss the involved issues (financial, emotional and personal) in a confidential and safe environment. The goal of mediation is to resolve the situation in the parties’ best interest pursuant to the law.

Collaborative Law is a process where each person is represented by collaboratively trained attorneys who are invested in a resolution between the parties. If an action is filed by either party in the Courts during the process, the Collaborative Attorneys remove themselves from the process. Therefore it is in the benefit for all involved to come to a resolution. This process is based on three principles: 1) a pledge not to go to court; 2) an honest exchange of information by both spouses and 3) a solution that takes into account the highest priorities of both spouses.

Mutual respect is fundamental to the both mediation and collaborative law. The important thing to remember is that you may cease as being spouses, but you don’t cease being worthy human beings. The idea is to allow you two to reach an agreement without going to court and retaining the control regarding decisions, rather than giving that decision to a judge.

It is not only the couple that is going through this process, but the children are a big part of this also. When there are children involved, communication and decisions about future co-parenting is imperative. Yours and your children’s future depend on how you handle this. You are role models setting the tone.

While going through this process, there are many stages and feelings that occur. There can be anxiety, stress, disappointment and anger to name just a few. The thing to remember is this is only a snap shot of the real you. In order to avoid making a bad situation worse, become educated and know your options on how to approach and handle this challenge. Automatically going down a contested road is not necessarily the right way for you. The key is to know what your options are and how to handle the next steps, particularly when there are children involved.

This applies to divorce, modifications, removal situations, parenting plans and any dispute that you and your partner are experiencing. Working collaboratively is so important to your well being and to those around you. For you to be able to make the decision about what is best for you and your children instead of a judge is so important. You know your children better than anyone else and for another individual to make the decision for you and your family.

Prenuptial or Post-nuptial agreements are also something to be considered.

Karen L. Argetsinger, Esq.110 Cedar Street Suite 250 Wellesley Hills, MA 02481781.431.2231(o)