Divorce and division of property without going through courts?

Additional Information:

We live in Massachusetts. I’ve been married for nearly 21 years. We have a house and lots of “stuff”. My wife wants a quick divorce and wants to work out division of property without courts. Our youngest child will be 18 in a couple months. It sounds like it may work if you’ve been married for 2 years and have no property to speak of but questionable for a couple like us.

ANSWER:

You have a number of options to get divorced fairly quickly and amicably in Massachusetts. You can consider divorce mediation where the two of you would meet with a trained neutral professional lawyer/mediator who would discuss with you all the issues you need to agree upon in coming to a comprehensive divorce agreement. The two of you would be able to work out your property division and other legal issues on your own without court intervention.  When this agreement is finalized between the two of you and filed with the court, you would generally get a court date within a month and your divorce would be final 4 months from this court date. The final date is necessary for remarriage and filing your taxes separately. The court date is comprised of 5 -10 minutes in front of a judge where s/he would determine if your agreement meets the standards of “fair and reasonable” to both parties. Even though your youngest will be 18 they are not considered emancipated under Massachusetts law. Look for an experienced divorce mediator. The Mass Council of Family Mediators offers a referral list for your area and many mediators are certified- indicating significant experience.

I hope this helps, I would not recommend a foreign divorce. Massachusetts law has evolved to make divorces more easily obtainable with a Joint Petition. These are important decisions that you are making that may effect you for years to come, it is important to make sure these decisions are in the best interest of both and that you have received the proper legal information.

Greater Boston Area Divorce Mediator and Attorney, Tracy Fischer provides divorce mediation services and helps couples figure out fair and reasonable division of property and matters related to the children as a result of divorce.   She works with families and individuals in the Greater Boston area including the communities of:  Dedham, Dover, Needham, Newton, Sherborn, Watertown, and Wellesley.