My Spouse Is out of State; Can We Still Mediate?
The Long-Distance Divorce
Many couples physically separate when they decide to divorce. Sometimes one spouse will move to another state. You can still file for divorce in Massachusetts as long as one spouse still lives there. If you choose to take your divorce to court, however, it may be a challenge to finalize. You could incur significant travel costs, and it may also take longer if one of you needs to travel, as you may need to get continuances for certain hearings. Divorce mediation is highly recommended when one spouse is living out of state. While a courtroom divorce may be challenging with an out of state spouse, mediation can still commence as usual.
Mediation is highly flexible. It allows the spouses to set their own schedule. Don’t underestimate the benefits of setting your own schedule. Courtroom divorces are subject to court calendars. These calendar dockets are often backlogged with divorce cases, meaning you may have to wait weeks if not months for a hearing.
The out of state spouse might have to travel appear in court, and you could have several hearings before your divorce is finalized. You will both still need to attend final hearing if you mediate, but one spouse may be able to have their presence waived.
If you choose mediation, make sure you find a mediator who has experience handling long-distance divorces. Ask if he or she can be flexible in scheduling your sessions. If your spouse has to travel a significant distance to meet, you may be able to consolidate your sessions. Mediation can be done efficiently. You and your spouse have control over how much time it will take from your lives. Mediation can also sometimes be done over the phone conference style. And, technology permitting, video mediations are becoming favored among spouses who no longer live in the same state.
An experienced, flexible mediator will be your biggest asset when trying to divorce in separate states.
Consult with a Massachusetts divorce mediator about your options for handling your divorce. You will need to find one who can work with your unique circumstances and can schedule the sessions to best suit your needs.
If you have questions about how to divorce with an out of state spouse, Mediation Advantage Services can assist you. Experienced in divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can help you and your spouse mediate your divorce around your schedule.
Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson.
Call our office at (508) 795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at [email protected] today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.