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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YANLEV / DREAMSTIME.COM To learn more about resolving divorce and family disputes without going to court, see: n INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF COLLABORATIVE PROFESSIONALS (Members in 24 countries) www.collaborativepractice.com n THE MASSACHUSETTS COLLABORATIVE LAW COUNCIL www.MassCLC.org CL meeting, you know that the other attorney in the room will never be cross-examining you and it provides an incentive to settlement," Smith continues. Other advantages may be time and money. In traditional divorce, generally the trial occurs more than a year after filing; then the clients wait for a decision, after which there might be an appeal. Collaborative Law cases usually take three to eight sessions over six to ten months, says Smith. It's more difficult to generalize fees. According to John Lande, Isidor Loeb Professor and Director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution, University of Missouri School of Law, fees vary by whether there are children and the level of difficulty of the case, requiring additional neutral experts in such fields as pension valuation or real estate appraisal. Lande cited a 2007-2009 study by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals that reported the average cost of a Collaborative case for both parties was $23,963, but there are significant regional differences, he said. The average cost in Minnesota was $14,431 compared with $41,056 in California the same year. Still, contrast that with Marty S., in New York, who said his divorce cost him well over $100,000: "a college education." 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 When I met Lisa J. Smith in her office, she had prepared the setting to illustrate how the atmosphere differs depending on divorce option chosen. We brought mugs of hot coffee to the meeting room where generous plates of cookies and fruit were offered. An easel displayed a handwritten list of goals we (spouses and attorneys) might have developed together last time we met—financial security for bothÉbe on good 84

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