Free Case Evaluation

800 Turnpike Street
North Andover , MA 01845

Alternatives to Massachusetts Family Court

Alternatives to Massachusetts Family Court

Family law disputes such as divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal support are often emotional and can be stressful. When two parties cannot agree, they may believe taking their case to court is the only option. However, litigation is expensive and can be a very lengthy process. Additionally, the courtroom environment empowers the judge to make decisions instead of allowing the two parties involved to decide what is best.

There are viable alternatives to litigation and these options often allow the parties involved to determine what works best. Consider these effective alternatives.

1.    Use a Mediator. Mediation is a productive way for each party to discuss, debate and decide for themselves the issues that are important to them, including child custody, financial support and property division. A professional mediator is a neutral facilitator. Through a series of meetings, the mediator will draft a document outlining what was agreed upon. That document will then be submitted to the court for approval. It is not a legally binding document until approved by a judge. Since a mediator cannot give legal advice, it’s often recommended that both parties consult an attorney to discuss their individual rights and the consequences of certain decisions within the agreement drafted by the mediator. 

2.    Enlist the help of a parenting coordinator. Child-related disputes are often the most debated issues during and after a divorce. When issues arise, enlisting the help of a parenting coordinator can be beneficial. Like a mediator, a parenting coordinator is a neutral professional that can help with dispute resolution, especially in cases where parents have difficulty communicating and agreeing on matters.

3.    Collaborative Law. Another option is to ask your family law attorney if he or she has training in collaborative law. The collaborative law process involves working with a neutral party and your attorney to settle family law issues. However, at the start of the process both parties must agree not to litigate their case, and both attorneys must agree not to represent their clients in litigation. While this agreement often forces the parties to work together to amicably resolve an issue, it does restrict both persons from litigating even if they feel it is necessary.

Whatever means of resolution you decide, it’s important to understand your options and seek the guidance and advice of an experienced professional such as a mediator, attorney, or parenting coordinator.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pocket
Share on email

Top rated family law and divorce lawyer serving Essex County and Middlesex County, Massachusetts including Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, North Reading, Tewksbury, and more.

Related Posts

Do I have custody rights as a non-biological parent?

A non-biological, non-adoptive parent who has acted in a parental role may be considered a de facto parent. As defined by the Massachusetts courts, a de facto parent is “one who has no biological relation to the child but has participated in the child’s life as a member of the child’s family. The de facto

Read This

Dividing Qualified Retirement Plans in the Aftermath of Divorce

Splitting assets during a divorce can be an arduous task. To complicate things, the division of certain retirement savings accounts requires an extra step. DRO vs. QDRO Divorce proceedings often conclude with a domestic relations order (DRO) to lay out the division of retirement assets. However, assets from a qualified retirement plan, such as a

Read This

We help families move forward in their lives with less stress, less expense, and more control.

Call us to schedule a Free Case Evaluation.