Divorce and Legal Separation Attorney in Greater Boston Area
Whether you have received a summons for a divorce or you are considering filing a complaint for divorce yourself, you are probably overwhelmed by questions and concerns. You wonder where you and your children will live. You worry that you will not have enough money to take care of yourself and your family, and you have no idea what will become of your home and other assets.
My job as your attorney is to give you information, advice, and counsel. I will bring my 35 years of experience to help you navigate this new terrain. Together we will evaluate your particular situation and look for creative solutions. We will try to negotiate with your spouse or his/her counsel but if we need to go to court right away for custody or child support we will. And if it seems like mediation might be an effective tool for settlement we will explore that avenue. Most importantly, I will work with you to address all of your concerns with empathy, respect, and experience. Together we can work through this very challenging time in your life.
The Divorce Process:
In Massachusetts, there are two types of divorce – no-fault divorce based on an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and fault-ground divorce based on any of the following:
- Desertion continued for 1 year next prior to the filing of the complaint
- Habitual drunkenness
- Drug addiction
- Cruel and abusive treatment, or, if a spouse being of sufficient ability, grossly or wantonly and cruelly refuses or neglects to provide suitable support and maintenance for the other spouse.
Every divorce case that is filed in the state of Massachusetts must declare the grounds on which the divorce is to be granted. Usually people file a no-fault divorce. In all divorces, however, the conflicts can include child custody, child support, division of property, and spousal support. Although only a judge can enter a divorce decree, there are many issues that accompany the break-up of a marriage that can be resolved outside of the courtroom. Often the parties can negotiate together through their attorneys or a mediator to come up with a set of mutually acceptable terms. By doing this, they can fashion an agreement that suits their particular needs, rather than placing all of the decision-making in the hands of the court. Other times, there are pressing issues that must be addressed immediately through litigation such as temporary custody and child support.
Whether the parties need the intervention of the court or can work together to find mutually acceptable solutions, communication is the key. This is especially true when children are involved. Children are particularly vulnerable to the hostility and tension that goes hand in hand with a highly contested divorce battle and they feel the repercussions long after the trial concludes. My priority is to work with my clients to fashion a financial and custodial arrangement that meets everyone’s needs. I try to help my clients find a way to co-exist and co-parent. No matter how difficult this may be, I remind my clients that after the divorce decree is issued and after the attorneys go back to their offices, they are the ones who have to live with the results. I believe my clients are best served by an attorney who aggressively advocates for their rights but also recognizes that relationships do not necessarily end when the parties leave the courtroom.
Mediation or Litigation?
As your attorney, I help you determine whether the issues in your divorce require the intervention and guidance of the Court or whether they can be resolved through mediation. Mediation can be a very useful tool in resolving family disputes – it can also be more cost-effective than litigation.
One of the questions I am asked frequently is: “How can I afford a divorce?” Mediation can be a more affordable option, with one household contributing to just one mediator versus two attorneys. However, mediation requires communication between the two parties. The more you try to communicate and cooperate in the process, the more prepared you are to mutually work in the best interests of your children. Mediation can both reduce your costs and prepare you to embark on the road ahead. Many times I am retained to provide legal advice to individuals already involved in the mediation process. In this role, I help clients understand their options, evaluate their legal positions, and prepare necessary documents they will need to bring to court. Other times, I am hired to serve as the mediator and I work directly with both parties to help them devise a comprehensive settlement that best suits their own particular needs and desires.
Whether you choose litigation, mediation, or a combination of the two, I can be your advocate and your counselor. I will bring my 25 years of experience to help, advise, and guide you through all aspects of your divorce.
Belle F. Soloway Attorney at Law provides legal services for clients in Dedham, Milton, Newton, the Greater Boston Area, as well as Braintree, Quincy, Brookline, Norwood, Weston, Wellesley, Natick, Framingham, Canton, Stoughton, Brockton, Cambridge, Somerville, Concord, Westwood, Medfield, Hyde Park, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Arlington, Waltham, Lexington and Bedford. Counties served include Norfolk County, Suffolk County, Middlesex County, Essex County, Plymouth County and elsewhere in Eastern Massachusetts.
Belle F. Soloway
Nathaniel Ames House
619 High Street, Suite 100
Dedham, MA 02026