As mediation continues to build momentum as a viable, and often less costly, form of dispute resolution in Massachusetts, so has the role of your attorney in the mediation process. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which spouses meet with a qualified neutral professional, usually and preferably an experienced divorce attorney, to discuss their child related and/or financial issues, exchange pertinent information, and work with the mediator to create an out-of-court settlement. While this process does not involve retained experts or litigation, most parties do in fact consult with and obtain advice from an attorney prior to, during, and after the mediation process.
Divorce mediation in Massachusetts has become a widely accepted way of resolving disputes because it works. Mediators report that typically 85-95 percent of mediated cases result in a settlement, often with an investment of one or two sessions. Among the advantages of mediation is that it fully engages the most important players.
When couples decide to end their marriage in Massachusetts, they have several options. Of these, the traditional litigated divorce is the least advantageous to the couple. It often results in fighting and bitterness, and the dissolution of a once-strong partnership into all but enmity.
Choosing your battles wisely is an important strategy in all areas of life, including if you are in the process of divorce. Unfortunately, traditional divorce attorneys often neglect to give their clients this advice, encouraging them to fight for everything they say they want, regardless of how impractical, impossible or destructive it may be.
Mediation is a powerful process when done through a skilled mediator. In divorce, most individuals get caught up with their "position" on certain issues and what they believe needs to take place in order to satisfy their needs. Often times, the "positions" taken by the parties are contradictory to one another. This leaves parties with the impression that only one of them can "win" on any given issue.
While parents usually agree that both have an obligation to financially provide for their children, parents often disagree about how much child support should be paid.
When a family goes through the mediation, there is often an emphasis placed on co-parenting - both parents sharing the responsibilities of caring for the children. It is important that spouses and co-parents find an approach to child custody and timesharing that suits their own family's background, circumstances, needs and preferences.