Helping You Arrive at a Peaceful and Respectful Solution to Your Divorce
Any couple seeking a divorce or involved in a child custody case in Massachusetts family court can decide to use mediation instead of asking a family court judge to make a decision. There are a few things you should know about divorce mediation:
- Mediation is voluntary. No one can make you participate. At any time during the mediation process, any party can decide they do not want to continue.
- The information provided in divorce mediation is private and confidential. This can be a significant benefit for couples that do not want their private affairs to be a matter of public record.
- Your divorce mediator is a neutral third party. The mediator does not represent either party but is there to facilitate the conversation and offer assistance so that you can arrive at mutually agreed-upon solutions for your family.
- Outside experts can participate in mediation sessions, if the parties agree, and can provide information or guidance in their area of expertise, usually in matters involving property division or child custody. For example, a real estate professional may be needed to provide information on the value of property. Couples divorcing after age 50 may want the help of a financial advisor to look at their financial future.
- You do not need to have a divorce lawyer in order to participate in mediation. However, mediation clients are encouraged to consult with an attorney before they sign any separation or divorce agreement.
- The mediation can be held with all parties working together in the same room, the mediator can meet with the parties separately, or if one of the parties lives in another state or country, the mediation can be done.
The Role of the Divorce Mediator
I’m Carolan Hardy, Esq., a family law attorney, and a Quincy divorce mediator. I am a Certified Mediator by the Massachusetts Council of Family Mediators, and earlier this year attended the High Conflict Institute, New Ways for Families in San Diego.
My goal, when working with clients is to assist the parties to reach an agreement created and decided by the parties. In my years of working with divorcing couples, I have observed that it is not enough simply to define how money or time with children will be divided. Each party needs to understand the position of the other party – their fears, concerns and needs. When both parties feel heard and understood, they are often able to move forward with creative solutions to issues that were previously barriers to agreement.
Are you having difficulties with your former partner because your child custody agreement, alimony order, or child support agreement is not working? Has there been a change in circumstances following your divorce agreement or parenting agreement?
- Has the alimony situation changed or does it need to be reviewed?
- Did one of the parents lose their job or receive a substantial pay increase?
- Has a child become emancipated so child support should end?
Post-divorce mediation can be used to address changes to parenting plans, changes to alimony, and other issues covered in your initial divorce decree.
If you have questions about whether divorce mediation will work for you, contact me, Quincy divorce mediator Carolan Hardy. Call 617-750-9709 to schedule a free initial consultation at my Quincy or Hingham law office.