Many couples in Massachusetts who file for divorce will struggle to divide their shared property. As an equitable distribution state, Massachusetts has state laws that require that judges make fair decisions about how they divide people’s property in a divorce.
High-asset couples often have much more to lose during litigation and may also have very strong needs for specific terms in the property division process. Many couples preparing for a Massachusetts divorce may feel like litigation is necessary because they simply cannot cooperate with one another.
Mediation might be a solution for those couples. Why is mediation especially beneficial for those in high-asset marriages contemplating divorce?
1. Mediation gives the spouses the final say
When you have multiple pieces of real estate, investment accounts, retirement savings and possibly a family-owned business all contributing to your marital estate, you will have a very hard time predicting what choices a judge will make about dividing those assets.
Even if you request specific terms, a judge may use their own discretion to create completely different arrangements based on what they think would be fair for your family. The only way for you to secure control over specific property or concessions regarding specific debts is to settle with your spouse and file an uncontested divorce.
2. Mediation protects your privacy
The details that the two of you share in family court proceedings may become part of the public record. Other people could uncover not only information about your financial circumstances but also unsavory information about your interpersonal relationships. Mediation is typically a confidential process, with only the agreement that you reach ending up as part of the court record.
3. Mediation facilitates a more amicable process
Perhaps you will continue living in the same neighborhood but in separate homes, which means that you will see each other frequently. Maybe you have children and will be co-parenting effectively for the rest of your lives.
Fighting with one another in divorce court will only intensify the damage already done to your relationship with one another. Mediation can do the opposite. It can give you a chance to practice healthier communication with one another and employ new conflict resolution tactics.
When you are successful during mediation, the process of negotiating with one another can help you find new, healthier ways to resolve conflicts with each other. You may also both walk away from the divorce feeling like the outcome was fair, which may make it easier for you to be gracious to one another in the future.
For many high-asset couples considering the likely end of their marriages, divorce mediation can be a powerful tool for preserving family resources and relationships.