Hollywood, TV and general consensus has portrayed mediation in a way that is almost always only half true. Read below for the other half
First what it isn't
1. We present information to a mediator and he/she tells us what our agreement should be.
2. There is little work necessary for a mediator to do in regard to getting us to an agreement
3. All mediators will prepare the necessary court documents to be filed
4. We need to have all our agreements as to co-parenting plan, asset division and support before we schedule time with a mediator
5. We should divide all our assets and sell all our real estate before coming to a mediator
6. All mediators are the same, a commodity, so they should all have the same process and cost the same.
7. It takes only one of the couple to seek and go through mediation
8. Once court litigation paperwork is filed, it is too late to mediate.
9. Mediation always favor the wife/spouse 1. Mediation always favors the husband/spouse 2.
10. Any agreement we come to will be readily approved by the judge of probate.
Next, What it is
1. A mediator is a knowledgable, neutral party who partners with you to obtain the information necessary, provide you with the legal knowledge and serve an option generator with regard to the 50 or so topics of divorce.
2. The work required will depend on whether parties have children under 23, the number of and complexity of their assets and whether both parties are the extent to which both parties are able to meet their expenses. Most mediations take at least 20 hours of work including sessions, preparation of paperwork and review and signing of paperwork.
3. Other than the parties themselves, only attorneys in MA are authorized to prepare court documents and motions. Mediators who are also attorneys generally prepare the court documents, separation agreements etc for filing.
4. It is best not to rush to an agreement or divide assets before there is at least a legal separation agreement signed and most cautiously not until the divorce is final. Most couples agree to a status quo during the process. There is little reason, unless you are an expert in divorce separation agreements, to get into it without the knowledge necessary to begin the decision making process.
5 No mediators are not the same. They have different degrees of experience, personality, financial knowledge, parenting knowledge, the ability to listen and maintain neutrality. Find a mediator that matches your situation and family. Like all consume purchases value drives the discussion.
6. Ask about the mediators process, location of session, flexibility to meet, prior experience and reviews. How do they charge? Will they give boundaries as to costs and fees. Do they charge hourly or per session and paperwork. When is payment due and what are the options for payment.
7. It is best to have a brief conversation with a proposed mediator to make sure there is reason to have a consult (topic, fees, location, limits as to appointments, and availability.
8. The goal of a mediator should be a collectively fair and equitable agreement based on your goals presented. Remember a qualified mediator will feed you legal information and general legal boundaries. Beware the agreement will need to be approved by a judge. Recently the judges are getting very particular about agreements so be thorough and precise.
Because mediation is an open process you may consult or retain professionals of your choosing to consult and advise.
Contact us at 978 674-8530 to help you with your divorce. Let us know whether you'd like to mediate in person or virtually. We work at a pace that works for you. No rush, No delay. It's your mediation and will ultimately result in your divorce agreement.
We offer flexible scheduling. Weekend and evening appointments are available upon request. If you are in need of experienced Divorce Attorney and Mediator, we are here for you. It is our goal to take care of you as a couple collectively, ensuring your Divorce Agreement is thorough, well thought out, through and will make sense for you, your spouse and your children now and well into the future.