Each Court sets its own time frames for how long it should take to complete each kind of case. Time standards in Massachusetts state that a divorce complaint should be concluded within 14 months, and a complaint for modification of a divorce should be concluded within eight months.* However, due to the large volume of cases being processed in the courts, it often takes longer than that.Continue Reading
The primary factors that drive the cost of divorce are attorney fees and the complexity of the issues involved (e.g. division of assets, child custody, support). The more issues and the more complex they are, the more time an attorney spends on the case.Continue Reading
If you’ve found your way to this page, you probably have questions about dispute resolution and whether it might be an option for your situation. Here are the top five things most people wonder about when it comes to alternative dispute resolution services:
What exactly is ADR?
ADR stands for alternative dispute resolution, an umbrella term used to describe several different methods of settling a legal matter without a court trial. All of them involve a neutral third party who oversees the resolution process.Continue Reading
When we need someone who’s good at his or her profession – whether a plumber, a financial planner or even a physician – we look for recommendations. We ask friends, family, and even others in that same professional realm. Getting a referral from the latter is often most welcome. That’s because people with a strong background in their field hold their peers to high standards. They want the referred professional to have what it takes to do things right.
So when the Probate and Family Court Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court approved Why Litigate as a preferred provider for court-connected dispute resolution services, it was a vote of confidence – an indication from the Court that our panel of attorneys and retired judges have the knowledge, the experience and the training to do things right.
Why Litigate is one of just a handful of Court approved ADR providers in Massachusetts. Therefore, when a judge suggests mediation as a possible pathway to resolving a legal matter, s/he will mandate the party contact one of those approved providers for a free screening.
Why Litigate is proud to be among that select group. And from a consumer’s point of view, that takes the guesswork out of finding someone who has what it takes to help you get the best possible outcome.
So you get your day in Court. Or at least the first one. You go before the judge to be heard on a matter of divorce, child custody or some other legal issue. And the judge recommends you look into mediation before pursuing formal litigation.
What happens next?
The judge will refer you to a Court approved provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services – an attorney or group of legal professionals who have met the necessary requirements to help people resolve legal matters outside of the courtroom. The judge can only refer you to an ADR provider approved by the Court. A list of those providers will be made available to you.
More specifically, while the judge cannot order you to pursue mediation over litigation, s/he can order you to seek a free screening from one of those providers.
From there, a few different things can happen.
You can take the list and be on your merry way – but you must contact one of the listed providers to schedule a future screening.
If a preferred provider is in the courthouse at that time, you can work with a courthouse employee to locate that provider. To expedite this process, Why Litigate has a member of its team available to provide mandated screenings two days a week. Therefore, if you want to get things going while you are there, our team member will meet with you.
The free screening takes about 15 minutes. When it is completed, you will have the information you need to decide whether mediation may be the path you wish to pursue.
December 2018 will mark my 30th year of practicing law. During those years, I witnessed family law litigation becoming far more complicated, time consuming and expensive. Not surprisingly, at the same time, I witnessed the evolution of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process, which aimed to resolve certain family law cases in a more efficient, cost-effective way than the traditional litigation model.Continue Reading