Divorce isn’t for everyone. Common though it may be, divorce goes against many people’s religious, cultural, or personal beliefs.

Today, many couples that have decided divorce isn’t right for them choose formal separation instead. Massachusetts’s Probate and Family Courts do not grant legal separations like some other states do. A couple wishing to separate, however, can make arrangements for separate maintenance through a court order or with a formal separation agreement. Divorce mediation is particularly helpful in separation cases where the couple wishes to remain amicable and non-adversarial while they create a formal agreement. Commonly addressed issues in separation cases include parenting time schedules, child support, and alimony. These are the same issues involved in many divorces, and so divorce mediation is especially useful in helping spouses separate while keeping their peace of mind intact. You may not see the necessity of a formal agreement if you and your spouse are still on good terms, but an agreement can give you peace of mind and protection in the case of a dispute. Taking the matter to court to get formal orders on separate maintenance is an option as well, but it helps if you and your spouse have an agreement worked out already.

Mediation can provide the security and reassurance of a formal agreement.

Without a court order for separate maintenance or a legally binding separation agreement, a separated spouse may have little legal recourse in case of dispute.

Until a couple divorces or signs a legal agreement, custody, marital assets, and finances are shared. Chances are, you and your spouse are or will be living apart when you separate, so even though you are not divorcing, you may need some stipulations in place regarding the care and custody of your child and how your finances will be shared. Formal separation agreements can address these issues.

Consider working with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator on your separation. Mediation is particularly well suited to helping couples amicably and cooperatively separate on their own terms. Formal separation can be successful for many couples. Having clear guidelines and agreements in place to help resolve problems that may arise later on can help couples make their separation work long-term. Without these guidelines in place, problems could arise that aren’t easily resolved.

If you have questions about how to separate, Mediation Advantage Services can assist you. Experienced in divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you and your spouse separate successfully through guided and non-adversarial mediation. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 466-4679, fill out our online form, or email us at info@mediationadvantage.com today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.