Domestic Relations & Mediation
“Understanding our client’s situation helps us to craft solutions which meet our client’s ultimate goals.”
OPTIONS, SOLUTIONS, DIRECTION AND COMPREHENSIVE SERVICES
Doherty, Dugan, Cannon, Raymond & Weil, P.C.’s team of family litigators, mediators, and collaborative law attorneys provide options, solutions, direction, and comprehensive services to families in crisis whether that be divorce, child custody, restraining order, guardianship of a minor (grandchild), or modification or enforcement of a prior order. We recognize that each family’s situation is unique, and with that our attorneys take the time to understand our clients’ goals, needs, and concerns so that we can craft strategies which fit that particular client. As an example, we understand that financial security means different things to each person and understanding our client’s definition of financial security helps us to craft solutions which meet our client’s ultimate goals.
Our attorneys work with teams of professionals to guide our clients through the often stressful and overwhelming decisions involved in the divorce process and other family-related conflict. It is imperative to have knowledgeable professionals assist clients research available options to ensure that all avenues are considered and the best options utilized in the resulting agreement or judgment. We also understand that in our complex world many times a divorce or a custody issue involves more than just the spouses involved, in that, grandparents are many times directly involved in caring and supporting the clients and/or grandchildren. We have the resources and experience to assist these families through the complex issues ahead of them.
Being client-focused, our support staff is also available to assist clients with questions and work through the many times overwhelming process of gathering the financial documents needed.
The attorneys in our Domestic Relations Practice Group are experienced litigators who can take cases to trial, if warranted, while remaining focused on working on settlement options. Our attorneys are strong advocates for clients guiding them through the legal and other challenges during this process. DDCRW also offers mediation and collaborative law options for our clients as effective alternative dispute resolution methods which can be efficient and effective methods to reach agreements. Our attorneys also have experience as guardian ad litems, parent coordinators, and masters. Probate and Family Court judges have appointed our attorneys to complex cases as masters and guardian ad litems and attorneys representing a child. We are one of the few local law firms that can offer such a broad practice.
“Part of what we do as a firm is come in and help resolve tough cases,” says Attorney Michelle M. Raymond, the head of the firm’s Domestic Relations Practice Group. “We excel in the problem-solving piece of settling and trying cases. It’s understanding not just the law, but the people involved. We pride ourselves on being good legal counselors and effective problems solvers for our clients.”
Mediation and Collaborative Law
In mediations, our attorneys act as a neutral third party to help clients agree upon a practical, long-term agreement which complies with court requirements, Massachusetts law, and the needs of their children and family. We have found that mediated settlements tend to have less disputes, less court interaction later on, and overall work better for the families because, in part, both spouses helped with the solution and found common ground.
In a collaborative case, both sides retain collaboratively trained attorneys who have the goal of reaching a full resolution outside the courts and sign a contract confirming this goal. It’s a client-focused process that involves carefully planned meetings in which the clients, attorneys and a coach/facilitator actively participates. It has the added advantages of having financial and child/divorce coaches directly involved in the process. The process is one which emphasizes cooperation, problem solving, and making decisions based on well thought out and researched options. Most clients feel a sense of relief when they remove the pressure of court from the divorce process which opens up both parties to focus on what options will work for them and their children.
Our team can utilize a network of outside professionals like divorce coaches, financial advisors, real-estate experts or therapists if needed.
“I very much promote a team approach,” says Attorney Raymond. “We pull in other professionals to help make sure that our client has all the information they need, as well as the guidance they need to make an informed decision.”
Both mediation and collaborative law involve practical approaches to very emotional situations which benefits families more than if the case ends up in litigation. It keeps the case out of the overloaded court system, usually resulting in a quicker and more cost-effective resolution. An added benefit is that the process keeps the communication lines open, focuses on the best interests of the children and helps the clients in the transition to the next phase of their life. Most importantly it results in an agreement that is controlled by the family and not the court.
If litigation is needed, our attorneys are ready to be strong advocates for our clients in the court process. Given the contentious nature of divorce or child custody cases, experience and knowledge of the judges in the surrounding counties is essential. An added plus is that many of our attorneys also appear in the district courts on civil matters so we can use this knowledge for return restraining order hearings when needed. Our team has extensive exposure to high-conflict and complex asset cases on both the trial and the appellate level, as well as dealing with family issues such as allegations of domestic violence, physical abuse, alcoholism, sexual abuse, mental illness, and drug abuse. We work with local professionals to ensure that our attorneys have the resources to assist our clients with understanding family members or their own addiction issues.
“What’s the best legal strategy? Is it litigation related? Is it negotiation related?” says Attorney Steven D. Weil. “When you’re out there working with people, they’re starting to see you as somebody who’s thoughtful, articulate, reasonable and honest. Those qualities help when you’re representing somebody either sitting across the table or in a courtroom.”
Whatever the legal situation, the team at Doherty, Dugan, Cannon, Raymond & Weil, P.C. is equipped to help deal with it and get the client through their difficult and many times overwhelming situation. Let us help you take back control of your life by providing you with the tools and information you need to make the difficult decisions.