What are the benefits of choosing mediation over litigation in a divorce?

When many people think of divorce, custody battles, endless legal filings, and costly court proceedings come to mind. The whole divorce process can seem more daunting, and perhaps even more painful, than the emotional aspects of a marriage’s dissolution. But what if there was another way? Another, more humane, more gentle, less expensive way to handle the dissolution of a marriage? There is: mediation. Not every divorce has to be a highly contested litigious “War of the Roses” situation. Mediation is typically less stressful and less expensive than a divorce trial, and it usually proceeds much faster. Because you and
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Should I take the Breathalyzer test when pulled over and what if I refuse?

This particular question is not as easy to answer as it may seem.  If a driver refuses to take the Breathalyzer test, it is an automatic 6 month license suspension. Drivers under age 21 face a 3 year license suspension. Drivers with prior OUI offenses on their record face increased sanctions between 3 years and a lifetime loss depending on how many priors you have. There are no hardship licenses for  suspensions resulting from breath test refusals. If you take and fail the test, there is a 30 days license suspension. The suspension for a failed test is significantly less
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What is the time frame on indictment while incarcerated in Massachusetts?

My husband was arraigned 60 days ago and they have been keeping him on 5000 cash bail . I am questioning if there is a time limit on indictment and should he have to be let out by now ? Attorney Answer: There is no minimum time frame for which the Commonwealth has to indict your husband.  The only requirement is that he be brought into Court every thirty days.  Your husband’s attorney can force the Commonwealth to show that they have probable cause for the charges.  If sufficient time passes, your husband’s attorney can move to reexamine bail and
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Will I be entitled to anything when we divorce?

Additional Info:  We have been married for 6 months and I realize it was a mistake and want a divorce. We got married because I am pregnant with his child. We rent an apartment in Lowell. He has some money in savings, I do not. Attorney Answer: Once the child is born, you will be entitled to child support assuming he earns more than you and you are the primary custodial parent of the child.  With respect to asset division, this is a short term marriage, so it is likely that the Court would look to put the parties in
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Can my ex prevent me from moving out of the country with our daughter?

Additional Information: My ex and I have a 6 year old daughter.  He sees her every other weekend and occasionally during the week.  We live in Acton, MA but I have met someone who lives outside of the US and we are getting married this year.  I am also pregnant with his child.   I want to move with my daughter to be near him.  What are my legal responsibilities in this situation?  I’d still like my daughter to be able to see her biological father, but obviously it’s not going to be as frequent and can he prevent us from
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Who has visitation rights?

Recently, many states have passed laws that give grandparents certain visitation rights with a child after a divorce or after the death of the child’s parent. Predictably, this has given rise to questions about whether this right should be extended to other close relatives, such as aunts, uncles and cousins. The issue came up recently in Minnesota, when a woman asked for visitation rights with her niece – the daughter of her recently deceased identical twin sister. The woman argued that since Minnesota has a law that gives visitation rights to grandparents, it only made sense to include other family
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What are consequences for minor daughter arrested for petty theft?

Additional Information: What are the consequences for petty theft in MA for my teenage daughter (under 18 years old)?  It is her first time getting in trouble.  Some girls had dared her to steal from a store in Tewksbury and challenged her to see how much she could steal.  She was arrested for merchandise totaling $200. ATTORNEY ANSWER: It depends on how old your daughter is.  If she is under age 17, she will be charged in the Juvenile Court.  If she is 17, she will be charged as an adult in Lowell District Court.  There are a wide range
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Can you change your children’s name after divorce?

After a couple divorced, the wife asked a court to change their two children’s last name to her maiden name. (The children had been given the husband’s last name at birth.) The judge agreed, saying that since the mother was the primary residential parent, it should be presumed that she was acting in the children’s best interests, and her decision should be respected. But the father appealed, and a higher court sided with him. The appeals court said that this result might make sense in the case of a child who was born out of wedlock. For instance, if a
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Will I be responsible for half of my wife’s school loan when we divorce?

Additional Information: My wife took out a loan so she could start her own business.   She had hoped to apply earnings toward the mortgage on our North Reading home, and stuff for the kids.  We are now getting a divorce and besides writing a business plan, she hasn’t launched her business.  Will I be liable for half of the loan? ATTORNEY ANSWER: The answer is maybe.  In terms of the divorce itself, if you are not getting an interest in the business, it would likely not be considered equitable for you to be responsible for the loan.  The problem, however,
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When we divorce, will my husband be entitled to half of a gift check?

Additional Information: My husband and I were both in our 40s when we got married, and having an elaborate wedding didn’t seem right, so we eloped. My parents gave me a gift check which we then put toward a house we bought together in North Andover. We are now getting a divorce.  Will my husband get half of this asset? ATTORNEY ANSWER: This is a difficult question to answer with the information provided.  Without knowing the length of the marriage, equity in the house, amount of the gift, other assets involved, amount of liabilities and other pertinent issues, it is
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