Newburyport Mediation Lawyer
Ideally, divorcing couples can work out the details of their divorce between themselves. Unfortunately, agreement is not always possible. Instead, many couples go through the arduous litigation process, which can take years and cost tens of thousands of dollars. If only there was a better way to solve disputes.
Fortunately, there is. Hiring a Newburyport mediation lawyer can be the first step to reducing the stress and cost associated with divorce. With Turco Legal, P.C. by your side, we can guide you through the mediation process and help you achieve a divorce outcome that works for you.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative to litigation. In litigation, each side builds its case and presents it to a judge, who decides any contested issues, such as child custody or the division of marital property. With mediation, couples meet with a third-party neutral, the mediator.
A mediator is not a judge. Instead, she or he works with the parties to help them find solutions to their disagreements. A mediator is a good listener with creative problem-solving abilities. However, the mediator can only propose potential solutions. The mediator cannot force anyone to accept a solution they disagree with.
At the end of the process, a mediator can draft a separation agreement which both spouses will have an opportunity to sign. The spouses can then submit this to the judge, who must sign off before the agreement is enforceable and the couple can officially divorce in Massachusetts.
Why Is Mediation Helpful?
Put simply, many couples have a difficult time listening to each other. Emotions run high and some people try to “strike back” at their spouse out of pain or disillusionment. Often, meeting with a neutral person to discuss a dispute can help each side see areas of agreement and a sensible path forward towards resolution.
Is Mediation Expensive?
This isn’t the right question. Instead of asking “Is mediation expensive?” we should ask, “Is mediation cheaper than divorce?” And the answer is usually “yes.” Litigating a divorce often costs several thousand dollars more than mediation.
Sometimes, couples going through the litigation process can reach an agreement quickly. But many divorces drag on–and here the cost of divorce skyrockets. Most divorce attorneys charge by the hour, and this includes not only going into court but all the work they do outside of court. A contested divorce involving child custody issues, for example, could require hours upon hours of work as the lawyer meets with psychologists, reviews records, prepares for a deposition, etc. Compared to this type of contested divorce, mediation is almost always cheaper.
Can a Spouse Have a Lawyer During Mediation?
Yes. The attorney is not an advocate—remember, mediation is not an adversarial process. However, many men and women don’t know whether they should accept a proposed solution. This is where an attorney is helpful. An attorney can counsel whether to accept a proposal or to continue to bargain for something better.
How Does Turco Legal Approach Mediation?
Our lawyers have been involved in hundreds of mediations, so we know what works and what doesn’t. When we serve as mediators, we generally meet with both spouses, either in person or over the phone. Our Newburyport mediation lawyers need to fully understand the dispute as best we can. For example:
- Which issues, if any, do the couples already agree on?
- What do they disagree on?
- What does each side want?
- Is there anything that is non-negotiable?
- Where is the couple in the divorce process?
We can’t effectively mediate a dispute unless we understand why each side is coming to the table.
To learn about the dispute, we give each side homework to complete. We carefully review this information before attending the first mediation session.
In our experience, mediation works best when emotions are kept in check. Mediation is not a “venting” session, and it isn’t couples therapy. We try to keep both sides engaged in the issues at hand and aren’t afraid to call a timeout when emotions run high.
Typically, mediation takes place in one room during a joint session. However, it is sometimes helpful for each side to go into their own room and for the mediator to shuttle between them. This is called “caucusing,” and it can help break through any impasse.
Making the Most of Mediation
Mediation works best when both parties negotiate in good faith. This means listening with an open mind and speaking honestly about what you want through the divorce. If a person is simply “going through the motions,” then mediation often fails.
Very few people emerge from mediation getting everything they want. Of course, this is also true of contested litigation. Compromising where possible helps make mediation work.
Contact Our Newburyport Mediation Lawyers Today
Mediating a dispute is often the sensible choice. Even when couples can’t agree on everything, they can often whittle down the issues in dispute, saving time and money. Contact Turco Legal P.C. today by calling (978) 225-9030 to schedule a consultation.