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 Divorce include a financial specialist, a real estate attorney, and an appraiser for homes and businesses; and if children are involved, a child specialist or, if appropriate, an attorney specializing in special needs. "Relationships between spouses are redefined in a healthy way and, if there are children, negative spillover is minimized," Smith says. important to themselves and their spouse," says Smith, a Wellesley resident who graduated from Weston High School and whose law office is The process is based on mutual respect and cooperation rather than in Natick. "One doesn't have to agree with the other's interests, just be endlessly airing grievances. The goal is to take constructive steps that able to understand them. Frankly, this empowers clients to set up good lead to an agreement everyone can live with. Even couples who are methods of communication which they can continue after the divorce. angry, confused, or conflicted may find the collaborative approach can It enables people to more effectively co-parent." their privacy. "For me," Smith continues, "it is privacy and dignity that's important. Most people don't realize that when you go before a judge, almost every "The Collaborative Law process requires honesty in financial and affidavit, court record, and court order is public record. Anyone, even other relevant disclosures. It is a contractual obligation. People don't your children when they become adults, can review them. In general, have to be friends but they must be open to thinking about what's only the financial statement forms are private. In Collaborative Divorce, you get to decide what's public and what's not by carefully preparing the final agreement and filing documents to reflect clients' decisions." "As they say, 'you can't un-ring a bell,'" says Smith. "If you start litigation and make hurtful public statements, it is hard for your spouse to both forgive and forget." One of the advantages to Collaborative Law is 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 that the meetings create a safe environment for communication. "In a "Relationships between spouses are redefined in a healthy way and, if there are children, negative spillover is minimized." – Lisa J. Smith / Attorney 82 PHOTO CREDITS: (TOP) ZIMMYTWS / DREAMSTIME.COM; (BOTTOM) PAHA_L / DREAMSTIME.COM support them to make decisions for their future while maintaining

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