Prenuptial Agreements

As we head into the season of wedding bells and happy couples tying the knot, nobody likes to think about the grim statistic that 50% of today’s marriages will end in divorce.

Without wanting to be a “downer” or add another “to do” to the already lengthy list of future brides and grooms, I do suggest that you consider early on in the planning process whether a prenuptial agreement might be prudent or necessary in your situation. This is not an item you want to be thinking about at the last minute, as it can take careful preparation and some amount of time to develop. Ideally, a prenuptial agreement should be done several months before the wedding date. This allows enough time to gather the required information and gives attorneys the opportunity to review everything. Read More >>

Health Insurance After Divorce

“Obamacare” is dramatically affecting most families’ lives and finances these days, so it is only natural to wonder how the Affordable Care Act might potentially impact Massachusetts couples going through a divorce.

The answer is that in the Bay State, we will not see many changes due to the fact that we have had mandatory coverage since our Health Care Insurance Reform of 2006. In families where one spouse has an out-of-state employer, they may see a difference, but the vast majority of families will be unaffected by federal health care reform. Read More >>

What to Expect In Our First Mediation Meeting

In our last post, we covered practical ways to prepare for your first Mediation meeting. These included identifying and defining mutual goals, gathering financial documents, understanding the topics to be addressed, preparing with legal counsel, and setting expectations.

This time, we will discuss what typically goes on during the first Mediation meeting. While each initial session is somewhat different based on the couple involved, there are some generalities that can be expected. Read More >>

How to Prepare for Mediation

Once you have decided that mediation is the right course for you and your spouse is on board, it is time to begin preparing for your first mediation meeting – which could be as soon as next week or as far out as a couple of months, depending on your timetable.

Prior to our first meeting, I have usually spoken to at least one spouse by phone or communicated via email. Technically I am hired as the neutral party by both spouses, and so I encourage the other spouse to speak with me as well prior to our first meeting (although this occurs only about a third of the time – I wish it happened more!).  During these preliminary phone calls, I do not want to know any specifics or details about your particular case. I deal only with generalities, such as how the process works, fees, etc.  This way I maintain my neutrality and neither party should be concerned that I have been “swayed” by the other. Read More >>

A View from the Other Side

I recently found myself as a patient in an unknown hospital in a strange city.  The experience was disconcerting, to say the least.  Fortunately, my stay was short and all is now well.  But interestingly, the incident enhanced my perspective towards Collaborative Practice and Mediation. Let me share why.

Like many unexpected hospital stays, mine started in the Emergency Room.  There I answered questions about what I was experiencing for the nurse, the resident, the neurology resident, and at least one other person.  Based upon my answers, they made a decision to admit me, but started treatment right there in the ER. Read More >>

What is Collaborative Practice?

Collaborative Practice (CP) has been defined as “a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resort to litigation.” It allows the parties to control the outcome, as opposed to putting it in the hands of a judge or other third party (such as an arbiter).

The goals of those heading into Collaborative Practice should be to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution and to create solutions that factor in the highest priorities of each party, all while maintaining open communication. Read More >>