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After divorce, Massachusetts couples may still have to keep close

People in Massachusetts may have seen a recent New York Times article about the challenges of divorce, in particular the challenges divorcing couples face when they run a business together. It can be a tricky situation, but ex-spouses from mom and pop shops to major corporations have made it work.

For a number of reasons, whether it's because of shared parental responsibilities, mutual friends, families or social circles, or business ties, the fact is that many people may still have to remain in contact with an ex-spouse after the divorce is finalized. For people who realize this fact and want to salvage a decent, tolerable relationship with an ex, the process of divorce mediation offers some attractive benefits.

During divorce mediation, couples are encouraged to work together in order to find mutually beneficial solutions, or at least compromises, on the most important issues. Issues like property division, child custody and spousal support are addressed in a way that lends itself to open communication, empathy and mutual respect -- things that are often noticeably absent during a contentious courtroom-litigated divorce.

The news story focused on the challenges of running a company together after a divorce, but the lessons of the story hold true for all types of post-divorce relationships. Having an established agreement outlining the expectations and obligations of each party is important, as is maintaining mutual respect for the other person in their capacity as a co-parent, co-worker or social contact.

Many people experience a lot of negative emotions, anger, frustration and resentment during a divorce, but once the initial hurt wears off people may wish they had handled things differently. By mediating a divorce instead of litigating, people can save time and money, and may even salvage a working relationship with an ex.

Source: New York Times "When Couples Divorce But Still Run a Business Together," by Bryan Borzykowski, December 5, 2012

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