Using a Business Lawyer to Support Your Divorce Mediation in Wellesley

A business lawyer who is trained in alternative dispute resolution can support your divorce mediation in Wellesley in several ways.

One of the most important aspects of a divorce is often the division of property. Assets that were once “ours” have to become “yours” and “mine.” Because of a well-known cognitive bias called the Endowment Effect that makes it difficult for people to give up something they have once touched, the transition can become contentious. Many people use mediation to make the negotiation easier and less expensive than having lawyers fight about it.

If your financial situation is complex, a business lawyer can help untangle it or find ways for you and your soon to be ex-spouse to share ownership. For instance, if you have complex assets that are hard to split like a family business, creative properties that generate licensing revenue or private equity fund (alternative investments) interests, it may be best to hold them in a partnership structured to manage any ongoing conflict. If you hold investments that are subject to a buy-sell arrangement, you may need to navigate them in a way that does not trigger an early liquidation.

A corporate lawyer who is also a mediator can support your family mediation process around business issues, either as counsel or as co-mediator. He is able to bring a different set of experiences than many family mediators without taking away from the good work your mediator is doing on other issues.

Finally, unlike many litigators, a business lawyer is used to working together with people to find solutions. His initial approach is likely to be more collaborative, in the interest of maximizing value for his clients, rather than confrontational, in the interest of winning a contest. It can be a good fit for divorce mediation with complex financial situations.

Using a Massachusetts Business Lawyer to Facilitate Your Contract Negotiation

Most contracts are negotiated by lawyers with input from their clients. Sometimes, the clients negotiate the big dollar points themselves and then leave all the rest to their lawyers. If you will be having an ongoing business relationship with the other party to a contract, though, you might consider having a Massachusetts business lawyer facilitate the negotiation. It can be especially helpful if there are more than two parties to the agreement.

Contract facilitation is similar to mediation, but with a few twists. The parties hire someone who is completely neutral to advise them of the major points that should go in the contract and the range of options others use to address these points. The facilitator also helps structure the discussion so the parties can have direct conversations about difficult matters in ways that actually build a working relationship. If the parties wish, a facilitator who is also a business attorney can help write a term sheet or even a draft agreement.

The process is particularly useful with partnerships but can also work with strategic relationships and other kinds of contracts in which the parties will be interacting in the future.

The process starts by working with the parties to define their goals. For instance, is there one specific term that is giving them difficulty or are the parties more interested in overall organizational development to make sure their roles, rights and obligations are clear? Each situation then evolves in a slightly different way depending on the parties, the type of process they are seeking and what they want to accomplish.

Discuss your options with a trained dispute resolution professional who is also a business lawyer to see if facilitated contract negotiation is right for your situation.