CENTRE FOR MEDIATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION ONLINE

Knowledge Base

Frequently Asked Questions for
             Prospective CMDR Clients

April 2003

Do we have to go to court?

Yes, even if you are filing a no-fault, noncontested divorce (No Fault 1-A), you and your spouse have to appear before the judge who has received a copy of your Agreement before hand. It is the judge who is empowered to grant or deny your divorce based on his/her evaluation of your Agreement and its adherence to Massachusetts law.

Do we have to sell our home to divide property?

There are many approaches to the division of marital property with regard to the marital home. The possibilities include:
• One spouse occupies the house with future sale tied to an event and/or date (e.g. emancipation of youngest child). The sale proceeds are then divided in accordance with the terms of your Agreement.

• One spouse buys out the other party’s interest, in full, at the time of the divorce or at a later date (e.g. emancipation of children) or through trade of other assets (e.g. one keeps the house and the other receives retirement funds).

• A combination agreement of a partial buyout through refinancing at the time of divorce and the balance at a later date or through trade of other assets.


Can we ignore Child Support Guidelines if we agree?

The parties are not free to agree to a support number that is less than the Guideline calculation without presenting the court with a very persuasive argument.
• In general the Guidelines determine support for couples in which one parent is the primary custodian and the couple, as an entity, earns $135,000 or less.

• Higher income couples and couples with shared physical custody are outside the Guideline population.


What is the formula for alimony?

• Unlike child support, there is no established formula for alimony. There are, however, a number of different formulas that have been used frequently for calculation of alimony. It is important that you review the different ranges of support and the concomitant formulas that are commonly implemented by Massachusetts’s courts.

What is the difference between Mediation and Marriage Counseling?

• Mediation is not therapy or counseling. It is a problem solving approach for helping couples reach agreement, be it to structure a divorce or separation.


Please Call Our Office For Answers To Your Questions - 781.239.1600



Free in-person or telephone consultations available Literature and fees are available upon request.
To schedule an appointment, please call 781-239-1600 or e-mail us at cmdr@cmdronline.com