Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Divorce mediation Q and A

When figuring out how to approach one's divorce, it is easy to get overwhelmed at the options that are actually out there. There is more than one way to divorce. For Massachusetts residents who are looking for a nontraditional route, divorce mediation may be the answer. This week's column will address some common questions about the mediation process.

Question number one is: Is mediation really an economical choice? Litigation can be very expensive. If a couple can avoid going to court by being willing to negotiate the terms of their divorce, yes, mediation can save them money in the long run.

Question number two is: What is the role of the mediator? The mediator's job is to keep negotiations going. He or she does not take sides or offer personal legal advice. Those individuals who want help with the mediation process should consider retaining legal counsel.

Question number three is: Once a court order is issued, can the terms agreed to in mediation be changed? Certain terms of a divorce settlement may be adjusted down the line. It does not matter if those terms were set through mediation or litigation. Those who wish to seek post-divorce adjustments can either go back to mediation to negotiate new terms or file the appropriate motions in court for consideration.

There are a lot of benefits to utilizing divorce mediation. It is not for everyone, though. Massachusetts residents who are considering mediation can talk to an experienced family law attorney in order to determine if it is the best fit for them.

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