WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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COLLABORATIVE " frustrating and infuriating" is how Marty S. describes communication with his exwife and her attorney throughout their divorce. "Tense and horrific" is what Tama B. remembers about hers. Both went through traditional divorces. Compare their experiences with that of Nancie Handy who, with her ex, chose another option, called Collaborative Divorce. "Fairness. That was the focal point," says Handy. "It didn't get ugly. I call him my 'was-band,' not my 'ex,' because we're not married anymore but still supportive of each other personally as well as with our children, despite ups and downs. We felt Collaborative Divorce was the best choice for us because we wanted to work together with our lawyers rather than as adversaries." While it is distressing to end a marriage, working out the issues did not add to their pain. On the day their divorce was finalized, the newly former spouses left the courthouse, had lunch together, and toasted "new beginnings." So what is Collaborative Divorce? "In Collaborative Law, the results are custom-designed," says Handy's attorney, Lisa J. Smith. agreement before going to court. Instead of leaving decisions up to a judge, the two spouses retain control of the outcome. Each has an attorney trained in Collaborative Law. All discussions are held in open meetings, alternating between the two attorneys' offices, involving a team that includes a divorce coach who works with both spouses, individually, to help them identify 'hot button' issues that may arise. By recognizing issues likely to spike emotional reactions, the coach We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 3 helps diffuse potential verbal bombshells peacefully before they explode. The team may also 80 MANGOSTOCK / DREAMSTIME.COM Unlike conventional, or litigated, divorce cases, the parties involved pledge in writing to reach an

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