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Mediation FAQs

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Frequently asked Questions about Divorce and Separation

How do I make an appointment?

Although each mediation session is customized to fit your needs, typically after your initial free call to ask any questions you may have, an appointment is set up for your first mediation session.  The first session is typically held with both parties present.

To schedule an appointment to discuss your needs, please call:
(413) 253-6600
Or send us an email...

What happens at the first Session?

At this first session I will address any of your concerns. .  I will clearly explain the divorce process, including what is required by the the Family and Probate Court for a divorce.   We also set an agenda of various issues that must be addressed for the court.  We will also   address immediate concerns you have for yourself, your children or your spouse. I will give you list of financial documents required for the process so that the court requirement of full financial disclosure is met.

After the First Session:

The number of mediation sessions required   varies  depending on  the  complexity of the disputed issues.  To come to a full resolution, the typical mediation require between three to five sessions.   Each person has the option of meeting individually with the mediator, if they feel it would be of benefit.   
In the subsequent sessions we address:

Who is Going to Stay in the Home?

We will explore different options for the marital home for you, your children and your spouse .  We will also  work on a temporary and long term plan.

What about Child Custody?

If you have children, we  will address different custodial arrangements. We will to customize a parenting schedule to your and your children's needs. We will address any special issues your children may have, and if needed, I will recommend any affiliated specialized professionals to offer assistance with h any of your concerns.

What about Child and Spousal Support?

We will discuss when child and spousal support are e applicable. I will review each of your incomes and expenses, and do an analysis according to Massachusetts law to determine what support, if any, may be in order.  We will discuss the tax implications and savings for certain support scenarios.  I will recommend specialized financial expert, when such advice may realize big cost savings for you.

What about Dividing Property and Debts?

We will review the value of all your assets including assets such as your marital home, retirement plans, savings, and other investment vehicles.  Where applicable, I will review the law of inherited assets, as well as the factors involves with dividing assets and debts.  We will plan for your present and future needs, and if it offers you big cost savings in the long-term, we can call on the assistance of an associated financial planner.

Medical insurance

We will look at the most cost effective possibilities for you, your spouse and children to continue their medical insurance benefits.

Tax issues

We will address the issue of tax dependency exemptions, mortgage deductions, and other tax-related issues that may help to increase the cash available to each party.

Is mediation less expensive?

Mediation tends to be much less expensive than litigating in court. You do not each have to hire your own attorney, as the neutral mediator is there to serve you both. You do not need to pay lawyers to prepare documents to go to court or to discover information from the other side, or to go to the hearing required by the court to approve your agreement.

How many sessions does it take to come to an agreement?

There is no magic number of sessions, but generally, it takes between three to five sessions to come to an agreement, depending how complicated your case is.

Will the mediator go to court with us?

Attorney Daniell will prepare the agreement to be approved by the court. She will also, if you like, prepare the other documents required for filing your agreement. She will also prepare you for the court hearing, but she will not appear in court, as she is a neutral and not representing either of you.

Last Session:

Prior to the last session, you will have had an opportunity to review the Separation Agreement, which is the agreement filed with the court that governs your rights and obligations to each other and to your children.  In the last session, you will sign the agreement and other necessary court documents.  I will answer any questions you have.

How does Payment work?

Unless you agree otherwise, you are each responsible for only ½ of the cost of each mediation session .Payment is due at the end of each session. If Attorney Daniell will be doing work to prepare documents or to analyze your case ahead of time, she will ask for a retainer to be equally divided by you. Payment can be made by check, credit card or in cash.

To schedule an appointment to discuss your needs, please call:
(413) 253-6600

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We are conveniently located in the center
of Amherst, MA.

Our address is:

30 Boltwood Walk
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 253-6600

Parking readily available in the nearby municipal lot.

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