Who Can Benefit From Conciliation and how does it work?

The traditional Probate and Family Court system is effective for many clients. But some divorce and family law cases can be resolved faster and with less expense. This depends, in part, on the clients’ ability to communicate with each other even in an emotionally difficult time. For such couples, conciliation could be very beneficial.

Conciliation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which the Conciliator (a neutral and experienced practitioner) openly evaluates each client’s case during one or more group sessions. With the lawyers in attendance, the Conciliator guides the clients to compromise using his or her experience. The Conciliator may explain to one client that the other has strong evidence on a contested issue. This evidence could be more persuasive to the Judge than they expect. The Conciliator may explain to a client that their position on an issue may be weaker than they realize. The Conciliator may share insights about a Judge that the clients had not considered; and which may impact their case. The Conciliator encourages the clients to weigh the benefits of what they are fighting over, rather than simply “winning” in a courtroom.

Many clients conclude that chasing a costly, risky or unlikely Court ruling, is a poor choice. Successful clients learn that a compromise created through conciliation is far better for them and their children, legally, financially, and emotionally.

You should hire a conciliator who has many years of experience representing clients in divorce and family law cases. A veteran lawyer who practices law in the court in which the clients’ case is pending is best suited to conciliate their case. Clients also should hire a conciliator who has deep experience with all aspects of family and divorce law, but who also has knowledge of related areas that often arise in family/divorce cases, such as business and banking, debtor/creditor matters, real estate, bankruptcy, and guardianship matters. This experience provides that conciliator with a built-in pool of knowledge that is not common among many family law lawyers. Conciliation clients will benefit from a hiring a conciliator who has this advantage.

Jeffrey Greenberg has practiced in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, Superior Court, District Court, Housing Court, Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court for twenty-eight years. He concentrates his practice in all areas of family law, divorce, modification, contempts, pre- and post- nuptial agreements, as well as guardianships, conservatorships, and probate estate litigation.

Our family law and probate clients benefit from the experience our firm has in related practice areas. When a case presents legal issues that overlap, for example, with real estate, employment issues, business and finance, trusts, estates, pensions, bankruptcy or other tax and estate planning matters, our clients receive quality legal advice in all aspects of their matter.