Around the table blog

Around the Table

Levitt Family Law & Mediation’s Blog

Circumstance = Opportunity

by | May 7, 2020 | Collaborative Law, Divorce, Mediation

Use Mediation or Collaborative Law for Resolving Divorce Out of Court

Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”.  With limited access to the Courts right now due to Covid-19, why not try to resolve your divorce or other family law conflict out of court?

You don’t have to wait for the Courts to reopen, and in fact you shouldn’t – even when they open, they have a back log and it will take some time for your case to move through the Court system. You can turn these extraordinary circumstances in which we are currently living,  into an opportunity to resolve your case using an out of court dispute resolution process such as Mediation or Collaborative Law.

In Mediation you hire a neutral third party who is usually an attorney, who works with you and your spouse to resolve your differences and reach agreement.

In Collaborative Law, both you and your spouse have attorneys at the table who are advocates not adversaries, and who take a settlement approach rather than the litigation route to help  you and your spouse reach a mutually beneficial agreement for the family.

Compared with court litigation, the benefits of out of court dispute resolution processes are:

  • more transparent and creative problem solving
  • confidentiality
  • efficiency
  • better management of costs such as legal fees, and
  • more positive and lasting agreements.

Resolving your case out of Court is also beneficial to children – they get to see their parents model conflict resolution in a more positive manner than through the traditional court litigated process, which leads to better co-parenting and better outcomes for children.

The Levitt Law Group provides a variety of out of court dispute resolution services.  We have been doing Mediation and Collaborative Law for over 20 years, and Attorney Karen J. Levitt is one of the very few mediators in Massachusetts certified by the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation.  We can also represent you if you are in mediation with other than the Levitt Law Group, but need legal advice during the mediation process to understand your rights and responsibilities, to strategize before a mediation session, to evaluate proposals made at mediation, and to review the mediated agreement.

We work with clients as their Collaborative Law attorney, focusing on settlement rather than litigation and providing clients with legal advice throughout the process of reaching a negotiated agreement.  Both Mediation and Collaborative Law can be used by clients before ever going to Court to avoid the necessity for Court intervention; or by clients who are already in Court but want to avoid the time and financial/emotional expense of trial.

One of our United States Supreme Court justices, Sandra Day O’Connor, who was also our first woman Supreme Court justice, once said: “The courts of this country should not be the places where resolution of disputes begins.  They should be the places where the disputes end after alternative methods of resolving disputes have been considered and tried.”

So turn Circumstance into Opportunity – take control of the outcome of your case yourself, try sitting at a table across from each other with the assistance of a mediator and/or attorney and problem solving together rather than having a judge decide the future of your family.  Think of the court not as the place of first resort, but last resort – try what can be a better way to get divorced or resolve family law conflict by first going to an out of court dispute resolution process such as Mediation or Collaborative Law.

Copyright 2020 Karen J. Levitt. All rights reserved.