Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Massachusetts divorce mediation Q and A, part II

Last week this column addressed two common questions that Massachusetts residents may have about mediation. As promised, this week's column will add to that and go over a few more questions that some may want answered before pursing divorce mediation. Those who need more detail than what is shared here can speak to an experienced family law attorney in order to get their questions answered.

Question number one for this week is: What does the mediator do? A mediator is supposed to act as a neutral third party. This individual can help couples find solutions to their disputes by offering suggestions, but he or she cannot take sides.

Question number two for this week is: After being requested, when can mediation start? Mediation sessions can being as soon as both parties are ready and available. Generally speaking, after mediation is requested, the first session is scheduled within 30 days.

Question number three for this week is: Who can attend mediation sessions? Each spouse, their attorneys or other advocates and the mediator may all attend mediation sessions. Attorneys are not required to be present, though some people like having legal counsel right there and on hand if needed.

The process of dissolving one's marriage can be a challenge, even when pursing divorce mediation rather than litigation. It takes open and honest communication to be effective, which can be hard when emotions are brought to the table. Mediators and family law attorneys can help make the process go as swiftly and smoothly as possible by helping divorcing couples in Massachusetts keep their focus as they negotiate and come to agreeable terms.

Source: mass.gov, "Mediation FAQs", Accessed on July 11, 2017

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