The mediator is a neutral third party who does not represent either of the parties in a divorce or other family law matter. For mediation to be successful, the parties must be ready to proceed. Even if only one of the parties wants a divorce and the other does not, both parties will meet with the mediator voluntarily to explore and discuss how the mediation process will proceed. Complete and accurate financial disclosure is a critical part of the informed decision-making process which is required in order for mediation to be successful. The role of the mediator includes the following:
- The mediator facilitates the conversation between the parties and helps the parties identify his/her objectives.
- The mediator provides conflict resolution throughout the mediation process.
- The mediator helps the parties locate and utilize resources that may be of assistance throughout the mediation process.
- The mediator helps the parties negotiate to formulate divorce agreements, custody agreements, prenuptial and post-marital agreements, modification agreements, and other types of agreements within the context of family and probate law.
- The mediator may draft a Memorandum of Understanding (outlining the points to which the parties agree), or a comprehensive Agreement (which contains the detailed provisions of the parties’ settlement).
- The mediator may review the relevant Massachusetts law with the parties so that the agreement resulting from the mediation will ultimately be approved by the Court.
- The mediator may assist the parties in the preparation of other documents that will be filed with the Court.
- The mediator does not represent either party to the mediation, and does not advocate or provide legal advice to one party or the other.