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Alternative divorce options may be better for physicians, others

While physicians in Massachusetts and other states typically go through divorce at a lower rate than others in the medical field, the demands of a doctor's profession can lead to strain in a marriage. Dissolving a marriage can take time and be emotionally and financially draining when using the court system, but there are options for divorcing that physicians and others may want to consider.

Spouses who are able to work together may find the divorce process easier than those who must go to court to have a judge decide matters like property division and child custody. While it is tempting to argue and indulge hurt feelings throughout the divorce process, setting aside differences and using alternative divorce methods could help both parties reach a reasonable settlement agreement without wasting time or money. Before turning to litigation, a married couple might like to consider meditation, negotiation or a collaborative divorce.

When using a process like mediation or a collaborative divorce, the ideas and interests of both parties are taken into account as everyone tries to satisfy both spouses. This involves compromise, cooperation and honest communication, and this can be less emotionally taxing as well as less expensive as there may be lower discovery costs if both parties are willingly offering information. An alternative process also is less formal, gives each party a say in the matter and is conducted privately.

Couples have many options when agreeing to work together while divorcing. For example, a custodial parent could keep a house instead of receiving alimony or child support. Another option could be that a noncustodial parent pays less child support but agrees to provide assistance for a child's college costs. Whether a couple has children or not, deciding the terms of a settlement agreement together may work better than leaving everything up to a judge.

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