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.

 

MEDIATOR ANTHONY ADAMOPOULOS RECOGNIZED as SUPER LAWYER

 

       “Proud to be selected.”

Divorce Mediator and Collaborative Divorce Attorney Anthony C. Adamopoulos has been selected a 2021 Massachusetts Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers, a national attorney rating service, found Adamopoulos to be a Top-Rated Family Law Attorney. Adamopoulos’ office is in Topsfield.

Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The Super Lawyer selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

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.

Wait. There Are Different Ways to Get Divorced? The major divorce process choices explained: demystifying your options.

By Ann Buscho, Ph.D.  This article was posted Feb 16, 2021 at the Psychology Today Blog: : A Better Divorce.  Dr. Buscho is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in family issues and issues related to divorce, parenting, parenting planning, and co-parenting counseling. It is reprinted here with permission of Dr. Buscho. Learn more at www.drannbuscho.com  (Two brackets were added by ACA)

 

THE BASICS

 

Your spouse has announced [he wants] a divorce. Or maybe you’ve decided that you have no other choice. How does a divorce happen?

The process you choose has a huge effect on how the divorce will go, how long it will take, how painful it will be, and how much it will cost. In this blog post, I will give you a brief overview of

the divorce process options so that you can begin to think about the direction you’d like to go.

In California and some other states, you can attend a free workshop called Divorce Options. This three-hour workshop packs in a ton of information about the divorce process and the law, which vary in different states. It also includes information about how to tell your children, and how to make the divorce easier for them.

Once you have all the information about various divorce processes, you can make a thoughtful decision about which process is the right one for you and your family.

Without this valuable information, if you don’t make a choice, people often end up in an adversarial process. In California, litigation is the default process. In other words, you need to choose another process, and if you don’t, your divorce will involve the court in a decision-making role, and you won’t have a confidential process.

Also, wait to interview or retain an attorney until you’re clear about which process you’d like to pursue. Often people rush out to hire a divorce attorney recommended by a friend. This attorney is going to be a very important person in your life, so choose someone who feels like a good fit. You will want advice, guidance, information, and someone you can trust.

I recommend that you interview more than one attorney but wait until you are clear about which process you will be using as attorneys often have practice specialties in one process but not all.

Here are the options:

  1. A do-it-yourself divorce. Also called a kitchen table divorce, may be a good choice if you don’t have property, own a business, or have children. If you have been in a short-term marriage and your divorce is amicable, you may be able to work out the details yourselves and submit the forms to the court. The drawback is that you won’t have the information you need about the law.

This process is best for very simple divorces where there isn’t much to negotiate or divide. Nolo Press has a do-it-yourself-divorce book that can walk you through all the steps.

  1. Mediation. Mediation is a very common way to settle a divorce. A mediator is a neutral facilitator. He or she will facilitate your conversations but won’t be able to give you advice. Some mediators are lawyers, and others are therapists or laymen. Because not all mediators know the laws, you should also hire a consulting attorney. That lawyer can advise and educate you about the law and will ensure that you understand your settlement before you sign anything. Many people consult with their attorneys between mediation sessions to prepare for the next session.

One advantage to mediation is that it is a confidential process, and your settlement can be kept confidential and not become part of the public record. Mediation works well when you and your spouse can communicate respectfully and honestly. You will need to feel confident that you can advocate for yourself and your needs. If one of you is overwhelmed with emotion or doesn’t have a clue about finances, mediation might not be the way to go. You may need more support.

In some areas, professionals are offering a hybrid called Integrative Mediation. In this scenario, there are two neutrals, such as an attorney and a therapist or financial specialist. This provides more support to you as you navigate the divorce process.

  1. Collaborative Divorce. Collaborative Divorce has been around since the mid-1990s but has recently become much more well known. When mediation doesn’t provide enough support, consider a Collaborative Divorce. In a Collaborative Divorce, each of you has your own attorney trained specifically in this process. You may have others on your teams, such as Collaboratively trained divorce coaches or financial specialists.

You have much more support in your negotiations, as the attorneys join you and your spouse at the meeting table to assist you in finding the resolutions that best work for each of you and your children. In a Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse are in control of the decisions you’ll make, and the law is a factor, but not necessarily the determining factor. As long as you understand the law, you can make decisions outside of the law if they fit your family better. You can “think outside the box” to find win-win solutions.

The coaches help with communication and emotions, and the neutral financial specialist helps you put together your disclosures, which are required by law. Collaborative Divorce is a confidential process, like mediation, and a potentially amicable process.

You and your spouse sign an agreement not to go to litigation, and not to threaten it. If you do leave the Collaborative Process, your professionals will all withdraw, and you’ll have to hire new professionals. Collaborative Divorce is a good option if you need support, guidance, and advice, and you don’t want to take your divorce to court.

In some areas, you may hear of a “cooperative divorce” or a settlement-oriented divorce. In this process, the attorneys take a larger role in bringing your divorce to a final settlement, often negotiating on your behalf. It is not a confidential process.

  1. Litigation. Some families need an outside decision-maker when they are unable to come to an agreement in any other way. Unfortunately, the outcome is often a “win-lose” outcome, and you may find yourself going back to court over and over. You will each hire an attorney who will fight for you to win in court. It is the most adversarial process. Litigating attorneys often don’t work together cooperatively to come to a settlement. Their focus is on getting the “best deal” for you, even when the outcome may not be ideal for your children or family.

When your divorce is litigated, you are putting all of your decisions into the hands of the Judge, who is guided strictly by the law. Your attorneys make the most convincing case they can as they advocate for you, the client. The judge doesn’t know your family but is making big decisions for you, and can only use the law as a basis for his decisions. And don’t expect the judge to provide “justice” or to punish your spouse. This kind of high-conflict divorce is hard on you and your children. Avoid it if you can.

Litigation is probably the most costly process because you are in fact preparing for trial, although only 3-4% of divorces actually go to trial. The rest settle on the courthouse steps, at the last minute.

These are the four main process options, and in many areas, you will find some variations.

When you decide how you want to proceed, ask the attorney you interview these questions:

  1. Do you specialize in family law? How long have you been in practice?
  2. Have you been trained [and certified] in mediation or Collaborative Divorce? If so, how many cases have you done successfully?
  3. What percentage of your practice is mediation, going to court, and Collaborative Divorce?
  4. Have you worked with my spouse’s attorney in the past? How is your relationship with him/her?
  5. What are your fees?

In addition to the answers you get, ask yourself how it feels to be in the room (or on Zoom) with this person? Does she talk too much? Is he too aggressive? Does she welcome your questions and answer them directly? Is he interested in your intentions and desires? Does she seem to want to find a way to meet the needs of your whole family?

One last word of advice:

Take some time to settle down emotionally before starting a legal process. Work with a therapist, clergy, or divorce coach to work through your feelings. They can also work with you about how to tell your children and help them adjust.

Once your emotions have calmed down you will be able to think more clearly and make more well-thought-through decisions. This is all about self-care.

Start with self-care.

© Ann Buscho, Ph.D. 2021

Ann Gold Buscho, Ph.D. is the author of The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting: A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce, published by Simon & Schuster. For more information and help about divorce, check out Dr. Buscho’s web site at  www.drannbuscho.com.

 

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