Doris Tennant specializes in divorce settlements that spare parents and children the emotional toll of court contested cases. Cognizant of the protracted nature of litigation and its long term effect on the parties, Doris facilitates the resolution of divorces by focusing on alternative dispute resolution methods including Collaborative Practice, mediation, arbitration and negotiation. Trained in Non-Violent Communication, she concentrates on helping parties identify interests, explore options, and achieve reasonable and realistic agreements without a judge imposing a solution. See samples of representative engagements below.
A founding member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, an active member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and a trainer of Collaborative professionals, Doris offers divorcing parties a process known as Collaborative Practice, in which both parties and their attorneys commit up front to eliminate litigation as an option, instead seeking an efficient settlement out of court. In this process a communication facilitator works with both clients to manage emotional content and move the process forward productively. The attorneys work as joint problem solvers rather than adversaries. Any experts needed — from valuing a business to devising tax-effective strategies — are jointly engaged to provide objective analysis for both parties, avoiding the battle between experts.
Prior to concentrating her practice in divorce, Doris was a litigator focusing on bankruptcy and creditor’s rights. She worked with complex financial matters in large bankruptcy cases in which resources were distributed in ways that protected both creditors and debtors — similar to the kinds of decisions required in the restructuring of a family due to divorce.
Doris is also a mediator certified by the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation. She provides mediation services for divorcing parties who prefer this alternative dispute option. In addition to divorce, mediation can also be effective in facilitating the resolution of business, workplace, and family disputes — for example, to resolve leadership succession in family business, employment discrimination cases, and estate settlements.
• Facilitated asset division to address primary earner’s job change at time of divorce: Represented high earning spouse seeking less financially rewarding employment for greater job satisfaction; achieved mutually satisfactory asset division and avoided prolonged conflict.
• Achieved expeditious divorce settlement in marriage supported by inheritance: Represented spouse of party whose family wealth funded lifestyle of both parties over their long-term marriage; secured mutually agreeable settlement.
• Mediated divorce in which business had increased substantially in value during marriage: Arranged for parties’ retention of joint business appraiser; facilitated agreement satisfactory to both parties.
• Represented transgender spouse in divorce settlement: Negotiated detailed parenting
plan for parties’ young children and division of complex business assets.
• Mediated prenuptial agreement: Achieved mutually satisfactory terms for upcoming marriage, the second for each party, with significant differences in parties’ ages, parenting obligations, assets, and income.
• Served as parenting coordinator in case with special needs children: Implemented parenting schedule and communication guidelines to support the educational and emotional needs of the children.
ph: 617-969-9610 x101
Doris offers a 15-20 minute complimentary consultation.
How grateful I am that you were referred to me as an attorney practicing Collaborative Law. You were a strong and sometimes feisty advocate. You treated me with compassion and respect, and shared your wisdom and humor. The result of this process has been a divorce that leaves me and my ex-husband able to collaborate and even remain friendly. This has been my fondest fantasy, but I was very doubtful that it would happen, and I give you all the credit.
A client who obtained a divorce in the Collaborative Process
• Boston College Law School
(JD, cum laude, 1989)
• Harvard University Graduate School
of Education (Certificate of Advanced Study, Reading and Human Development, 1980)
• Emory University
(Masters of Arts in Teaching, 1978)
• Emory University
(BA, cum laude, 1972)
• Massachusetts Bar
• U.S. District Court for the District
• First Circuit Court of Appeals
• U.S. Court of Appeals, District
of Columbia Circuit
• U.S. Supreme Court
Professional & Community Involvement
288 Walnut Street, Suite 500, Newton, MA 02460