Traditional Representation and Litigation
Litigated cases often require more time and cost more than out-of-court settlement processes such as mediation and collaborative law, but this process is necessary if it is clear that parties cannot come to agreement on their own.
While mediation, collaborative law and arbitration provide meaningful and viable options for most divorce and family law cases, those options are often not appropriate in particular cases. For example, cases with financial power imbalances, deceit, manipulation of finances, hiding of assets, mistrust, intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, or false allegations of child abuse, require the skill and attention of an experienced family law litigator. When an individual truly does need a lawyer to zealously represent his or her interests, it is important to work with an attorney who is experienced in navigating the court system. Attorney Pontisakos has the experience, skills and expertise to guide individuals through the complexities of litigating a family law case.
Mediation is a process in which you and the other party negotiate directly with one another, with the help of a neutral mediator. The mediator guides you and the other party to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both of you. You and your spouse (or co-parent) should each consider having your own attorney, with whom each of you may consult when needed. Usually, attorneys do not attend mediation sessions but act as advisors. This approach avoids the expense, time and added stress of a traditional approach and fosters more open communication. Mediation is private, out of court and non-binding.
Arbitration is a process in which the parties submit their dispute to a neutral third-party professional who will issue a decision. Arbitration is private, out of court and binding.
Arbitration can speed up the process and can help you avoid the escalating costs associated with court trials. Another benefit of arbitration is that the process is conducted privately in the arbitrator’s office and is not held in open court, giving the parties a greater sense of privacy. One of the major drawbacks of court trials is the long delay parties face in both getting a trial date, and then receiving a final decision from the judge. Often, a judge will not issue a decision for up to a year after a court trial. Decisions from arbitrators are issued in a more timely manner.
Clients agree they will not file a court action, but will work together with their respective attorneys to resolve their case outside of court. Neutral third party consultants, such as accountants, financial planners, and child psychologists, may be hired by the parties to participate in the process. Collaborative law is private, out of court and non-binding.
Attorney Pontisakos is certified by the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court to resolve high-conflict parenting (custody) cases outside of court. This process is usually used by parents in co-parenting relationships with a high level of conflict. The goal of a Parenting Coordinator is to help the parties resolve their differences in a private setting outside of court. The process helps reduce time delays inherent in the court process, reduces the costs of litigation, assists parties in improving their communication with one another, and focuses on a child-centered approach to conflict resolution. Less conflict between parents is healthier for children and increases the time and emotional energy parents spend focusing on their children’s needs instead of in conflict with their co-parent.