Check out this Client Review

CLIENT REVIEW

This review came to me today. “Thank You”, to the kind client who took the time to review my services. I am happy  this  “chapter” is over for him, and his wife.

 

Anthony guided me through a no-contest divorce. More than anything else, he was very kind and reassuring about the process.

It was a divorce, so I was upset, but Anthony kept us on track to reach a fair resolution quickly and move on with our lives.

He was very helpful in laying out the process and what to expect. My ex-wife was not very pro-active or organized, but Anthony was able to recommend some lawyers for her to work with to make sure she was treated fairly in the process.

Anthony was able to quickly reach an equitable division of assets. We had no children, but did have investments, real estate, a business and tax issues to separate, so I would describe the separation as more inconvenient and complicated than messy or acrimonious.

Anthony was always responsive to my questions and emails, and very fair about billing. We settled the divorce on time and under budget. The end settlement was less than I had expected to pay, and our legal fees were well within budget.

Anthony was instrumental in getting my divorce settled quickly with minimal frustration despite my ex often being unresponsive. He helped me focus on closing an old chapter in my life so I could look forward to a new life.  R.

 

Are you waiting for a hearing or trial date? Is your court date way off into the future? Well, it’s time to stop waiting and talk to each of your attorneys about arbitration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Anthony C. Adamopoulos – Divorce Arbitrator, Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

There is a faster way to resolve your court motion or trial issue?

Arbitration is faster. What is the other way? Think about it. You are waiting for, a third person, a judge, to decide a dispute. Stop waiting and have your own private “third person” Divorce Arbitrator decide the dispute within weeks.

Who uses Divorce Arbitration now? Frankly, until COVID caused delays in the courts, it was typically the wealthy or persons wanting privacy who used private and confidential divorce arbitration.

Think about it. It is time you and your spouse think about the wait time for a court date and consider arbitration’s benefits.

The benefits of arbitration. Because of court delays, divorcing parties are looking into the benefits and cost advantages of divorce arbitration. For example, having an expert appear in a court proceeding will cost a lot. In arbitration, you may use an expert’s affidavit instead of an appearance. Also, in arbitration you can get a confidential arbitration hearing in a week. In the court process, you can’t unilaterally use an affidavit, you can’t get a confidential hearing and you can’t get a hearing in a week.

Start now. Here is what to do, to move to the top of your own personal divorce resolution line:

  • Tell your attorney you want to use arbitration and you want your spouse’s attorney called and persuaded to use arbitration.
  • Have both attorneys talk to potential arbitrators (you can’t do that with judges) and have them recommend one to you and your spouse.
  • Get an early arbitration hearing date.
  • Have your confidential hearing with no formal Rules of Evidence to slow it down and cost more.
  • From there it is pretty easy for each of you to tell your story, get an award (decision) and finalize the award.

For more information have your attorney call. Conference calls with you, your spouse and your attorneys can be scheduled. An initial arbitration information call with your attorney is free.

HOW ARE ASSETS DIVIDED IN DIVORCE MEDIATION? HOW TO SAVE TIME & MONEY DOING IT?

   

                              Basic Principles of Dividing Property in Divorce Mediation

                                          By Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Divorce Mediator

As a mediator, I work hard to get parties to a property division quickly and for less cost. To do this, a properly prepared Financial Statement is essential. Unfortunately, some spouses are their own worst enemy when it comes to completing their Financial Statement; this causes delay and cost.

This article will explain how property is divided and how a properly prepared Financial Statement will efficiently lead to a mediated property division.

In Massachusetts, the general rule for dividing assets is that only material assets are divided. And, they are divided fairly. No Massachusetts law requires a 50/50 split.(See: https://www.divorcingoptions.com/Blog/if-we-go-to-court-will-our-property-be-divided-down-the-middle/ )

Generally, the mediator starts with asking if there is any reason why a fifty/fifty division would not be fair. If any reasons are offered they are considered and the mediator makes suggestions.

If mediating parties do not cooperate and compromise on a property division, then a judge or arbitrator will decide what is fair and a division is ordered as part of litigation.

Usually, substantial property includes: real estate, bank accounts with more money than necessary to pay a month’s worth of routine expenses, retirement accounts, investment accounts and valuable unique items, e.g., art work, a yacht or a private business.

It is not unusual to divide value rather than an actual item. For example, if property includes a house with an equity of $300,000.00 and a personal business in the husband’s name with an equity value of $300,000.00, the property agreement may be that the wife keeps the house and the husband keeps the business.

Generally, immaterial assets stay with whomever owned or primarily used the asset, examples include: an automobile, a wedding ring, engagement rings, a dump trailer used to take trash to the curbside, a lawnmower, tools.

Reasons for not equally dividing an asset, material or not, include, but are certainly not limited to: the marriage lasted less than five years; a spouse’s conduct resulted in unreasonable spending; a spouse’s health requires special needs; a spouse’s lack of any type of contribution toward the acquisition of a piece of property.

Before a division can be made, all material property needs to be properly described and listed in each spouse’s Financial Statement.

A properly prepared Financial Statement allows the judge, arbitrator, or mediator to:

  1. See how each piece of property is “legally held or owned”.
  2. See the value of each separate piece of property.
  3. Obtain the complete name of each property and any account number.

Items 1 and 2 are used to determine, with other information, what a fair division would be.

Item 3 is necessary to comply with the requirement that a Separation Agreement be “clear and unequivocal”. That is why the mediator includes the exact name and account number of material property in the property section of the Separation Agreement.

The first paragraph of this article stated: “… some spouses are their own worst enemy when it comes to properly completing their Financial Statement: …”. Clients who choose to ignore instructions for completing Financial Statements will always cause delay and more cost.

Marital debt must also be divided and can affect a property division; this is a subject for another day.

The 2 takeaways:

– In Massachusetts, property must be divided fairly, not equally.

– The failure to properly prepare the Court’s Financial Statement will delay the   property division and will add to the cost of divorce mediation.

©2020 Anthony C. Adamopoulos

What does Collaborative Divorce Mean?

Traditional divorce practice requires each attorney, in all interactions with clients and the opposing lawyer, to always be preparing for a divorce trial and, at the same time, always be attuned to settling the divorce.

Collaborative Divorce turns traditional divorce upside down by obligating each attorney and client to have only one goal – the resolution of the divorce without litigation or adversary proceedings.

To achieve resolution and save on fees, the Collaborative Process uses Neutrals who charge lower hourly fees than attorneys and use their specialized skills to resolve disputes traditionally handled by  attorneys. For example, Financial Neutrals help resolve tax or valuation issues. Neutral Facilitators help parties agree on a Parenting Plan.

Doing away with tractional restraints, the Collaborative Process is more efficient and less costly.

Anthony Adamopoulos is a co-founder of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council and North Shore Collaborative Divorce

Read more about Collaborative Divorce in this website by clicking here. Call Anthony at 978-744-9591 to talk with him.

#collaborativedivorcenearme, #collaborativedivorcelawyernearme.

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC

By Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Collaborative Divorce Attorney

 

During this pandemic, Collaborative Divorce Attorneys and Neutrals are providing this wonderful service in a COVID sensitive way.

They provide this service through a Collaborative Team, which achieves resolution quickly, safely and for less. The Team consists of each client, their respective attorneys and the neutrals. What follows is one of several types of a COVID sensitive procedures.

 Client/Attorney Teleconference

First, clients teleconference with their respective attorneys who obtain necessary information from their clients.

Next, the attorneys, keeping in mind what they have learned from their clients, discuss between themselves whether neutrals should be used. If there are personal problems that affect open and direct communication, then a Neutral Facilitator will be used. If there are financial/value issues then a Financial Neutral will be used. When neutrals are used, they make the process more efficient and cost effective. (For this explanation they will be used.)

Client/Neutral Teleconference

Second, names of neutrals are recommended to the clients and each client teleconferences with each neutral.

Neutrals and Attorneys Teleconference and Identify Problem Areas

Third, after the neutrals talk with each client, the neutrals and attorneys teleconference. Relying on what they have learned from each spouse, they identify what problems will prevent the signing of a Divorce Separation Agreement. Then, they develop a resolution for each problem and use one of the following formats to get a settlement.

Attorney Driven Settlement Format

Each attorney takes each recommended resolution to their respective client. If both clients agree on a recommended resolution, that problem is resolved. Following the same procedure, the attorneys then concentrate, one by one, on the remaining problems.

Zoom Collaborative Team Meeting Format

Here there is a Zoom Team Conference. Team conferences are led by a neutral. The Team, starting with a recommended resolution for each problem, works at resolving each problem one at a time. A benefit to Zoom meetings is that each participant can see the face of the other participants.

Collaborative Team Teleconference Format

The procedure and goals are the same as a Zoom meeting – all work together to get resolution of each problem. The advantage to a teleconference is that participants can concentrate on what is being said without any visual distraction.

For more information call Anthony.

 

#COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE, #WAYTODIVORCE, #COLLABORATIVEDIVORCEATTORNEYNEARME, #COLLABARATIVEDIVORCENEARME, #DIVORCESEPARATIONAGREEMENT

 

 

 

 

Expedited Divorce Mediation– Faster for Less® By Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Master Divorce Mediator

Expedited Divorce Mediation– Faster for Less®

By Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Master Divorce Mediator

 

Expedited Divorce Mediation – Faster for Less® is the new divorce mediation process that can get you through your divorce faster, easier and for less cost. With this innovative process you control your speed, your involvement and the costs for your Mediated Divorce.

Call now and talk with Anthony. Learn more about this creative process.

 

 

Expedited Divorce Mediation/Faster for Less®

What is It?

Expedited Divorce Mediation – Faster for Less® is the new divorce process that makes divorce easier, faster and less costly. With Expedited Divorce you have a say in the speed and cost of your Divorce.

Anthony Adamopoulos, a highly rated experienced divorce mediator, used his years of experience and hundreds of helpful creative client comments to create this method for getting past divorce.

Expedited Divorce Mediation  recognizes divorce is not a right and is not automatically granted. It concentrates on the two most important documents you need to get a divorce, a Financial Statement and a Separation Agreement. Because, the judge assigned to you must be satisfied with both before granting a divorce.

Anthony provides detailed, easy to follow, instructions on preparing each of your “Judge ready to read” Financial Statements. Then, he works closely with you and your spouse to mediate any issues; he then drafts your Separation Agreement.

Once both of you have these two essential documents, your ready, without attorneys if you wish, to follow the instructions, given to you by Anthony, for filing and having your Divorce Petition heard.

 

#divorcemediation, #quickdivorce, #cheapdivorce, #fastdivorce, #divorcemediatornerme, #expediteddivorce, #divorcemediationnearme

WHEN YOU NEED HELP IN DIVORCE MEDIATION

by Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Divorce Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

You, usually, do not need an attorney or Financial Neutral at all mediation sessions when there are three or less issues and no issue of credibility of income or property reporting.

But, in two situations you need help.

First, you need help when the issues include credibility of income or property disclosure.

Second, you need help when there are too many issues, including honesty about income and/or property but your spouse insists on using mediation.

If either of these situations exist, you need to protect yourself by getting the facts.

One way is to have an experienced divorce attorney ask the important questions that will satisfy your concerns about credibility.

The alternative is to insist on the mediation process involving a Divorce Financial Neutral. Neutrals know the questions to ask and the information to get.

How do you know when you need help?

If any of the following situations exist, you probably need an experienced attorney or a neutral.

  1. If your spouse is a high paid employee and you do not know:
  • The number or kind of perks spouse gets.
  • Any specifics about spouse’s pay, including bonus.
  • Any specifics about how spouse gets company stock.

 

  1. If your spouse is a self-employed high earner and you do not know:
  • How much your spouse earns.
  • If the business is paying for the phones or motor vehicles you and/or spouse use.
  • The first thing about running the business if spouse dies.
  • The names of spouse’s accountant and lawyer.
  • Why spouse carries a roll of cash to pay for things and to give you cash for your expenses.
  • What type of legal entity the business is, for example is it a sole proprietorship? or a corporation? or something else?
  • Whether you can trust your spouse to have the business fairly and competently appraised.

 

  1. If your spouse signs your name to the tax returns or tells you “just sign here” no need to read them.

 

  1. If your spouse does not want “to use lawyers” for the divorce process.

 

  1. Hypothetically, if you were asked to provide information showing:
  • all of the weekly income and weekly expenses of each of you; and
  • all of the property owned by each of you; and
  • all of the debt of each of you,

and you don’t know this information.

Remember, the divorce mediator is a neutral party who has the main responsibility of getting the two of you to agree on a divorce settlement agreement.

Your main responsibility is to be sure the mediator has all the important facts.

Learn more by contacting me, now.

©2020 Anthony C. Adamopoulos

 

COVID-19-The Divorce Rate and Cutting the Cost of Divorce

By Anthony C. Adamopoulos Topsfield Divorce Mediator and Collaborative Divorce attorney.

According to the New York Times, the experience of other countries suggests the ravages of COVID-19 will lead us to more divorces. And, according to the Pew Research Center, divorce itself is contagious. For example, if you divorce, the chances become higher that your friends will divorce.

Here in Massachusetts, there is already anecdotal evidence of the divorce rise.

For some, divorce is “necessary”, regardless of the Crisis. This “necessity” is adversely affected by the financial crisis. Divorce litigation is costly, now the burden is greater. The good news is that you can reduce the costs of divorce.

Here are alternatives to divorce litigation which can dramatically lower divorce costs. (Space limitations make the descriptions short, but sufficient for an internet search.)

Conference-Call-Mediation. Traditional divorce mediation works best for 3 or less issues. Today, experienced divorce mediators will conduct COVID-19 sensitive sessions.

COVID-19 Sensitive Collaborative Divorce serves couples facing complicated issues. Problems are resolved in an efficient, cost-cutting manner with each party’s attorney present and assisting.

Reconciliation Agreement Mediation serves couples seeking a second chance at their marriage. The Agreement reconciles differences, while admitting the possibility of divorce. It sets out rights and obligations for each, if a divorce is eventually filed; then, the Reconciliation Agreement, by law, turns into a Separation Agreement.

Use a neutral divorce financial advisor or neutral divorce facilitator. Click here for my blog article  on why divorce neutrals can cut divorce costs: https://www.divorcingoptions.com/Blog/how-to-save-real-money-in-a-divorce/

Use a Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) Attorney. An LAR attorney offers “a la carte” legal services. Clients select and pay only for specific tasks, such writing a Settlement Agreement.

During these times, experienced divorce attorneys who concentrate in divorce resolution, not litigation, are valuable resources for cutting divorce costs,

#divorcemediation

#divorcelawyernearme

 

Headed for a Covidivorce and Can’t Afford Divorce Mediation? Use a Certified LAR Attorney.

By Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Divorce Mediator, Collaborative Divorce Representation, Divorce Arbitrator.

In a matter of weeks, the world has changed for those facing divorce, not to mention that the family/divorce court has all but closed.

What do you do when you cannot afford a full-service divorce mediator?

Use a Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) attorney to save money. .

Your LAR attorney, who must be certified, will offer you “a la carte” legal services. In other words, you will select and pay only for specific tasks, for example, preparation of a Settlement Agreement.

A Settlement Agreement is an all-encompassing written agreement that addresses issues related to a couple’s divorce. When parties settle their divorce issues with a Settlement Agreement, they avoid divorce litigation.

A LAR attorney only represents one party.

There are various ways of arriving at a Settlement Agreement when you retain a LAR lawyer. What follows is a possible scenario:

You get from your LAR attorney the documents needed to properly help you.

The attorney then advises you as to what issues have to be addressed for your particular Settlement Agreement.

You tell your attorney what you and your spouse have agreed to so far. Your attorney then prepares a draft Settlement Agreement addressing the issues on which you and your spouse agree.

Then you address with your attorney areas of disagreement you have with your spouse.  Your attorney ask questions, refers to the documents you gave him, considers possible approaches, and then makes suggestions to you.

You then go back and negotiate with your spouse and the two of you reach agreement.

Your attorney then prepares a final draft Settlement Agreement.

You accept the draft and show it to your spouse. If your spouse accepts the draft, the two of you have a final Settlement Agreement.

If you only hired your LAR attorney to prepare a Settlement Agreement, you now have one to use when you file for divorce.

You decide how much or how little you will use your LAR attorney.

For a LAR Handout click here.

For more information on LAR click here.

©2020