Mediation — Collaborative Law — Arbitration


In almost every case, a divorce agreement will be more acceptable in the long run if the spouses can agree on the terms. It is almost always better to resolve issues like child custody between yourselves. If spouses cannot agree on how to structure their divorce agreement, a family court judge will make those decisions — and it is almost never a good idea to let someone else make important decisions about your future.

At the Acton, Massachusetts, law firm of Harsip & Stuart, P.C., our family law attorneys are committed to helping our clients conclude their divorce proceedings with minimal conflict. In some cases, conflict is inevitable — and in such situations, we are fair but aggressive advocates. However, if you and your spouse wish to finalize your divorce agreement using alternative conflict resolution methods, our attorneys are trained and eager to assist you.

Alternative dispute resolution techniques include mediation, collaborative law and arbitration.


Divorce Mediation

In divorce mediation, the spouses meet with an impartial trained mediator to resolve their differences and create an agreed-upon divorce agreement, also called a legal separation agreement.  Attorney Barry Harsip is a trained and experienced mediator who is available to mediate a separation agreement.  Our attorneys can also consult with you while in mediation with another mediator or review a divorce agreement that you and/or your spouse have already written.

Once a family court judge approves the mediated agreement, the divorce will be finalized and the agreement will be binding and enforceable.


Collaborative Divorce Law

Attorney Harsip is also a trained collaborative attorney. Collaborative law is a relatively new type of dispute resolution in which lawyers agree to take divorce cases only for the purpose of settlement. The spouses and their lawyers sign a written agreement committing to good-faith negotiation of the terms of the divorce. If the spouses are unable to come to agreement, the lawyers for each spouse agree that they will refer the case to other lawyers for trial.


Divorce Arbitration

In arbitration, the spouses agree to submit their disagreements to a neutral third party. Unlike in mediation, an arbitrator has the authority to make binding decisions about the divorce. Arbitration may be useful in divorce cases where the spouses wish to settle their disagreements in a private forum, rather than the public forum of a family court.  In many instances, arbitration can save money and save time.  But, it is important to discuss arbitration with an attorney before proceeding as the process is binding.

Harsip & Stuart attorney Barry S. Harsip is a certified family law arbitrator.


Schedule a Complimentary 20-Minute Consultation

We offer all potential new family law clients a free 20-minute consultation. We can describe the different types of alternative dispute resolution in more detail and schedule an appointment for you and your spouse to meet with us together.

To make an appointment, call 978-264-0250 or send an email via our online contact form.

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