Frequently Asked Questions

How does divorce mediation work?


Mediation is an efficient and inexpensive procedure for reaching fair decisions. An impartial mediator assists two individuals to make fair and equitable agreements.

The vast majority of divorcing people do not know about the financial and legal aspects of divorce. Your mediator will insure that you receive the financial and legal information necessary to create the best possible settlement suited to your individual needs.

At the end of the mediation, the mediator prepares the Divorce Agreement, which is filed with the Massachusetts Family and Probate court.


What are the benefits of using a mediator?


The benefits of using a mediator for your divorce include:

  • A mediator who will look out for your best interests
  • Significant cost savings and reduced tax liabilities
  • An explanation of finances and legal issues, so that each person fully understands the consequences of each decision
  • The ability to negotiate a settlement within a cooperative setting
  • Greater control over your decisions
  • Protection of the rights and interests of each individual
  • Privacy as you work out an agreement
  • Assistance in keeping emotions from financial decisions
  • A procedure for gathering the required legal information
  • Agreements that are understood by each person and will continue throughout the life of the agreement

Mediation gives you the option to privately negotiate a settlement without the large investment of time, money and emotion that adversarial divorces almost always require.


When is a good time to start mediation?


You may use our services before or after you separate.

We recommend that you start divorce mediation prior to your separation, in order for the mediator may help you to make good decisions and to avoid mistakes. For example, your mediator will create the best temporary parenting arrangement for you and your children; your mediator will determine the correct amount of child support according to the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines; and your mediator will assist in determining responsibility for rent and mortgage payments, as well as all other expenses.


How long does mediation take?


Several factors influence how long it will take to reach a final settlement:

  1. The number and complexity of assets and liabilities
  2. Your understanding of choices and options for assets, liabilities, insurances and support
  3. The way you each view legal and physical custody
  4. The ability of you and your spouse to agree

The length of time is determined by the divorcing couple. The Family and Probate Court will not intervene in a private mediation, rather, the court will review the settlement at the court hearing. Once finalized, your agreements regarding assets and liabilities are lasting and final, and your agreements regarding support may be modified without a requirement to return to divorce court.

In every case, a mediated divorce settlement is reached in less time and with less acrimony than in attorney-controlled collaborative or adversarial negotiations.

By comparison, an adversarial divorce can easily take two or more years before the final settlement is hammered out, and even once finalized, the unfair results often create a situation in which one or both parties return to the Family and Probate Court to modify the terms of their settlement.