Cape Cod Divorce & Mediation, P.C.
Law Office of Chantal Hayes Rice, Esq.
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Chantal Hayes RICE, Esq.

Going through a divorce is a very difficult time in a person's life.  I have represented both men and women and I find that divorce is emotionally taxing on both parties no matter who initially asked for the divorce. In the event that the parties are certain that divorce is the route they wish to take, I strongly encourage clients to consider mediation or a collaborative divorce, especially if the parties feel that they can work together to arrive at a fair agreement. 

Some attorneys can create unnecessary conflict in the divorce process.  In a typical litigated divorce one or both of the lawyers may have financial incentives to keep the parties engaged in an adversarial process rather than arrive at a settlement too early.  One of the reasons I became a mediator and a collaborative law attorney is because I want to help parties work together so that they can have an amicable and civil divorce, especially if they have children.  Even in my role as a lawyer I am continually working on ways to help my clients settle cases fairly and appropriately.  I have found that parties who agree to work together instead of fight in court significantly reduce the emotional and financial impact that a divorce has on a family.  Mediation and the collaborative law process teaches the parties how to work out their difference in a constructive manner and will serve to reduce the likelihood of future court actions. 

For parties who unable to mediate, I would suggest either full or limited legal representation.  Full representation is the classic form of representation where the client pays a lawyer a retainer and the lawyer handles all aspects of the case on the client's behalf.  Typically, the clients will pay a $5,000.00 - $10,000.00 retainer and the total fees can range from $5,000.00 to $20,000.00 depending on the complexity of the case. Clients with limited funds may choose instead to obtain Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) where the client pays an attorney on a per-appointment or as needed basis to assist the client in handling his or her own case.  LAR works very well for those people who are able to represent themselves in negotiating the case, but need the specific legal advice and strategy to do so.  LAR services can also be used to ghost write documents, prepare discovery, prepare for a trial or any number of legal services. 

The family court system encourages settlement between the parties right up until the day of trial. This means that the parties will be working to arrive at a settlement without the assistance of a judge for the majority of the proceedings.  If the parties wish to save time and a lot of money, they should consider mediation or the collaborative law process.  Otherwise, consider hiring an attorney on either a full or limited basis to help settle the case. There are many attorneys in Barnstable County who offer both full representation and LAR services.  It is important for a client to feel comfortable and confident in the attorney he or she chooses to make the divorce process as successful as possible.


                                                    Sincerely,
                                                                            Chantal Hayes Rice, Esq.


ATTORNEY PROFILE

A Cape Cod native, Chantal Hayes Rice, Esq. has been a member of Hayes & Hayes Attorneys-At-Law, P.C. since 1999 before starting Cape Cod Divorce & Mediation, P.C..  While she also practices in the area of real estate, probate and estate planning, she concentrates her practice on general family law, divorce mediation, collaborative law and limited assistance representation (LAR). 

EDUCATION and PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS:

B.S. Business Administration, Suffolk University, Boston, MA
J.D. Southern New England School of Law, North Dartmouth, MA
Admitted to Practice Law in MA
Massachusetts Bar Association
Barnstable Bar Association
Lawyer of the Day Program - Barnstable Probate & Family Court
Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS)
Cape Cod Community College - Faculty Member
Massachusetts Counsel on Family Mediation, Inc.
Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council
Cape Cod Young Professionals
Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce
Yarmouth Area Chamber of Commerce
Real Estate Bar Association (MA)
Sponsor Member of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Eduction (MCLE)
WeCan, Inc. 
Independence House, Inc. 
Rotary Club of Yarmouth, MA.
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