Mediation FAQs

1. What is mediation?
Mediation is the process by which parties try to negotiate an acceptable agreement, whether it be a divorce, custody or parenting plan,with the help of a neutral third party. The mediator helps the parties to communicate and negotiate but does not make any decisions for them.

2. How long does mediation take?
Mediation almost always takes less time than litigation. Depending on the issues, an agreement may be reached in one session with the mediator, although most divorcing couples meet for a few sessions over a period of weeks.

3. Why mediation?
Using mediation to negotiate a divorce agreement is almost always going to take less time and cost less than going to court. Mediation can help to improve communication and make your future interactions a little bit easier when you require an ongoing relationship with your ex-spouse, especially when you have children together.

4. How do mediating spouses protect their legal rights?
Because divorce involves legal questions, every divorcing spouse should know and understand his or her legal rights before agreeing to a settlement. One way for a mediating spouse to do this is to work with a consulting lawyer who knows and understands mediation.

Doing some independent legal research is another option. It’s best to do this as early in the process as possible, then follow up with a consultation with a lawyer before signing the settlement agreement that is drafted by the mediator.

5. Does the mediator meet with both spouses together or separately?
Some mediators prefer to work separately with each spouse, acting as a go-between. Others prefer joint meetings where both spouses are present and communication is more direct. At Fraier & Maillet, the mediator will always meet with both parties, together. There can be advantages and disadvantages to each approach, depending on the circumstances of the particular couple. This is a question that divorcing spouses should address in advance with a potential mediator.

6. How much does mediation cost?
Most mediations involve an hourly fee. Some agencies may provide mediation at a reduced cost or even for free. The number of sessions needed to gather information and negotiate an agreement will vary from couple to couple, so the cost of the mediation will also vary. Mediation, however, will usually be much less costly than adversarial litigation.

7. What do I need to bring to my consult with the mediator?
• certified copy of your marriage certificate
• tax returns and/or W2s for the last 1-3 years, if available
• most recent pay stubs

The mediator may request additional documentation after your initial consultation.

Request Information

Call 508-393-3525

City
State Massachusetts

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