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.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/107826

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Collaborative Divorce terms at end of divorce…maintain children's on the settlement. If the process breaks down, Collaborative lawyers will withdraw and transi- connections to extended families…provide for tion the case to litigation counsel. the children's education…to both find happi- Marty S. said his ex-wife's attorney "kept dancing around, selling her a bill of goods about ness after divorce. This was the setting for a what she was going to get so she wouldn't settle or compromise, which racked up his bill, but Collaborative Law case. Then she removed all in the end everything was split down the middle." Nancie Handy and her ex-husband had the food as well as the list of goals. The bare- none of that. bones room was now ready for attorneys and clients to meet for formal negotiation in litigation, the process of traditional divorce. "Mediation is another wonderful alternative," said Smith, who is also a divorce mediator. "If clients choose mediation, as a mediator I facilitate the settlement discussions, provide information, and suggest that they meet with their own attorneys before finalizing the agreement. They make important decisions about their divorce in the mediation room and later meet with their own attorneys elsewhere." In contrast, in Collaborative Law, clients have their attorneys in the room with them when all important decisions are made, including what information needs to be shared and what should be done with the marital home, health concerns, retirement, family businesses, and raising the children. Lisa J. Smith warns people to be wary of someone who uses "collaborative" merely as an adjective. "Collaborative Law is a clearly Agreement, signed by the clients, the attorneys and the divorce coach, containing protections for the process," she says. One such protection is to keep the professionals focused 85 s p r i n g 2 0 1 3 | We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e defined approach that begins with a Process

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