Divorce Mediation Attorney
The Boston area and surrounding communities have been bombarded with family law and probate cases. Several years ago, Middlesex County alone had 26,000 filings in the probate and family courts. Staggering numbers like these as well as the stress and cost of litigation have given rise to a relatively new concept in which the parties are able to negotiate their own divorces.
A wise Boston judge tells all of the litigants in her courtroom that a contested divorce is second only to the death of a child in the amount of stress it causes the parties, which is a good reason people should consider mediating the outcome of their futures rather than putting it in the hands of a judge who does not know you or your situation.
Mediation saves time and money, allows you to stay in control of your fate, attempts to improve communication with your spouse while improving your own sense of what is important to you and develops methods of conflict resolution that will help your relationship after divorce, which is crucial when young children are involved.
While taking a case to trial is the most common option when getting divorced, more and more people are realizing that it can be financially and emotionally costly as well as time-consuming and are opting for mediation. The benefit of mediation is that you and your partner are in control of the outcome while the mediator guides the process. The average divorce can be mediated in four to six sessions of two hours each, and even when the parties are arguing with each other, a case can still be mediated when in the hands of a skilled mediator.
The Law Offices of Judith A. Wayne & Associates. Wayne is a law firm dedicated to meeting the needs of Massachusetts families. Divorce mediation lawyer Judith A. Wayne is a certified divorce mediator with more than 30 years of legal experience. She may be able to help you and your spouse resolve your disputes through divorce mediation.
Contact our law firm online today to schedule a convenient consultation. We represent people throughout the Boston area from our offices in Marblehead, Newburyport and Lynn. We also represent clients as far west as Pittsfield and as far east as Cape Cod and the Islands.
Why Hire a Domestic Relations Attorney With Extensive Experience in Mediation?
Divorce mediation is an amicable and less costly way of getting divorced. For more than three decades, we have helped hundreds of couples resolve their disputes, including those related to:
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Child support
- Property division
- High net worth asset division
There are many people who call themselves “mediators” but only a seasoned domestic relations attorney understands what the Probate Court will require for an agreement to be approved by the judge. A trained mediator who is also a domestic relations attorney is able to guide you through the legal maze as well as facilitate your negotiation process in a skillful manner. I know what the court will expect to see in your agreement, am trained in all of the criteria that must be considered when entering into an agreement, and also know how to help you mediate these issues.
Judith Wayne, our lead attorney, is a certified Massachusetts mediator who can help you resolve divorce issues outside of court.
What Is a Mediator’s Role?
A mediator facilitates the negotiations between the parties, rather than act as a lawyer for either side. It is a mediator’s job to remain neutral while providing essential input about the issues in dispute. I meet with the parties in approximately four to six 90-minute sessions, after which the parties are typically ready to sign a divorce agreement.
Unlike litigation, which is combative and which focuses on the outcome, a mediator helps the parties navigate all of the issues that are important to them without any agenda except that which the parties establish. Therefore, a mediator’s focus is on the process rather than the outcome. I provide the opportunity for each side to openly discuss their needs and concerns. My role is to validate each side’s point of view, while encouraging both sides to reach consensus in order to attain a mutually beneficial resolution. Once an agreement is reached, the divorce decree will be signed by the judge. Mediation saves a divorcing couple time, money and undue stress.
Controlling the Outcome of Your Divorce
If you go to trial, the judge is in control of the outcome but when you mediate, you are in control of the outcome, which is why it is important for both parties to know what they want, to be prepared to listen to the other side and to be willing to negotiate in order to reach an agreement over which both parties have control rather than a judge.
Additional Benefits of Mediation
Children thrive in the absence of parental conflict, which should be of utmost importance to both parents regardless of whether it is a same-sex marriage or a marriage between a man and a woman. A contested divorce can be very expensive, whereas mediation is typically a fraction of the cost of litigation. If mediation is conducted correctly, both parties should find it relatively stress-free even while the mediator is helping to resolve conflicts.
Often, parties who are mediating their divorce find it useful to consult with their own attorneys, accountants, therapists, clergy or anyone else they choose to be involved in the process. Unlike a case that is litigated in court, this gives both parties the peace of mind of knowing that they can involve others in the mediation process in order to reach a successful resolution.
The mediator is not on the side of either party. I am there to help both of you successfully dissolve your marriage in order to have the least amount of stress and conflict in the process.
The Requirement of Commitment
Divorce mediation works only if the couple is willing to make a good faith effort to reach agreement. There is no legal obligation to agree or to mediate. Any commitment to mediate and to enter into a divorce agreement comes voluntarily from the couple.
How Much Does Mediation Cost?
The cost of mediation is discussed with the parties during the free, initial consultation. A typical divorce mediation takes between five and 10 hours of my time, which includes time in meetings, communicating by phone or email, and writing the divorce agreement if both parties agree that I should draft the agreement rather than their own attorneys, if they have them. A retainer is required at the outset, which the parties typically share in some way, by either check or credit card, to be defined during the initial consultation with me and applied against time worked, with any unearned balance returned when the mediation has ended. In the event that a couple requires more time to mediate, you will be expected to pay at the conclusion of each session. The remaining costs of a divorce are the $215 filing fee for a joint petition for divorce, the approximately $60 charge you each pay for the required parent education training class if you have a minor child, and whatever you pay your own legal, financial or other adviser if you choose to have one. Obviously, mediation costs vary depending upon how much time I spend on your case.
Other Uses for Family Mediation
I have also helped siblings use mediation to resolve disputes over the care of aging parents, or how they can design a dispute resolution mechanism for future disputes, or parents arguing with their children over money or other family issues. These families design their own agreements and other documents.
Contact an Amicable Divorce Lawyer
If you are interested in mediation after reading this website, feel free to call me at 781-691-9104. Your spouse can do the same. If you both want to learn more about mediation, please call my office to arrange an appointment, to discuss the process contact me online.