Divorce Mediation for an Affordable Divorce
Dr. Thomson helps divorcing parties cover all issues from A to Z, including
all child related and financial issues. Dr Thomson brings knowledge of
Massachusetts divorce norms and expectations, child development,
psychology, taxes, finance and an analytic mind on top of her mediation skills.
Some couples come to Interpeople after spending thousands of dollars and many months
on attorneys in the traditional divorce route. They find their relationships
undermined and their savings depleted with no progress.
It usually takes five to six meetings to conclude the process of divorce mediation
and the cost is a fraction of the cost incurred with divorce lawyers.
How to choose a Mediator
If you are facing a divorce, you will need a sympathetic
and steady hand to guide you through this painful and confusing
process. How do you
choose your mediator?
Is child support in order for you?
How much? How Long? How does it relate to physical custody of the child?
Read about it.
Should alimony be paid? How much? How long? How does it relate to
the length of marriage and the parties incomes?
Keep in mind: "Give peace a chance" does not mean
"leave peace to chance." You need to act on conflict
that persists and undermines.
Typical Divorce Mediation Process
Dr. Thomson mediates divorce in Massachusetts only.
A complementary introductory meeting takes place with both
parties and the mediator, in which the process is explained in
detail, including ways to file and how the process concludes in a
final divorce decree. This meeting does not oblige the Parties in
any way. If they decide to proceed with the mediation, here is a
typical outline of the process.
An Agreement to Mediate is signed, the parties' finances are given
a quick overview, the court's required Financial Statement is
introduced and explained. Parties decide what issues to discuss
first. If there is no 'burning issue', child related topics are
discussed first, starting with child custody.
A routine parenting schedule is agreed upon, and a parenting plan
for school vacations, holidays and breaks, including summer,
summer camp, etc.
Child related issues continue to be discussed, including when and
how to tell the children, how to deal with birthdays, how to
deal with possible relocation of either parent. Education related
issues are reviewed. Special child needs are discussed. Planning for
college savings and tuition aid is discussed. If possible, child
support is covered at least in part taking into account incomes and parenting time.
Child related issues are concluded. Pros and cons of child support
vs. alimony are discussed, different options are considered and
calculated in the context of forward-looking budgets that the parties
have prepared. The goal is for both parties to be able to manage
financially after the divorce.
Life insurance (how much? for how long? etc) and health insurance (who carries? how is the cost shared?)
are discussed in detail and
decisions made. Assets and liabilities owned by the parties
are reviewed and tabulated and decisions are made about how
the marital property and debt will be divided and how and when
exactly the decisions will be executed. If most ground has been
covered and one anticipates finishing the process next meeting,
the court packet is given to the Parties.
Remaining questions and other minor issues are reviewed. The
court documents that were filled by the Parties are reviewed and
the meetings end.
What remains then is for the mediator to write up the decisions
that were made by the parties in the form of a Memorandum of Agreement,
based on notes taken in the meetings.
The Parties can have this reviewed by attorneys if they choose,
or go with the court packet that they have prepared and file an uncontested divorce in court.
The process usually takes 5-6 meetings, but can take a longer or
a shorter time depending on complexity of issues and the parties' ability to make decisions.
Mediation of short marriages with no children tend to end quicker and cost the least.
An Experienced Mediator
Meet Interpeople's founder Shuneet Thomson, PhD
Dr. Thomson has been a mediator since 1988. Recognized by clients for her informal
and humorous style, she has mediated over 1,000 cases. These include workplace mediation,
and over 700 divorce mediations by the end of 2013.
Dr. Thomson believes mediation is a helping profession. People often come to her in
distress over conflict that has gone on for years, or over the breakup of their marriage.
Much of the initial anxiety is reduced by the first meeting.
By the time the parties reach the end of the mediation, they have a sense of how their life
will unfold, most concerns are addressed and in most cases their relationship is improved.
Video: Shuneet talks about Alimony in Massachusetts
Video: Is it true that only amicable cases are right for mediation?
Listen to Dr. Thomson interview on WPKZ FM 105.3
Humor: See Shuneet
with an angry party.
The Mediation Practice
Interpeople Inc is a Massachusetts company since 1996 dedicated to helping people resolve tough interpersonal disagreements
in a good constructive way at low cost.
Since its establishment, Interpeople has gained recognition in the mediation community.
It has been listed among the top ADR companies in the Boston
Business Journal's Book of Lists in five consecutive years, while such a list was included in the Book of Lists.
Most cases are in Middlesex County, with many coming
from Chelmsford, Westford, Concord and Acton, MA. Many are in Worcester County including
Fitchburg and Leominster. Interpeople's Arlington Office serves nearby Lexington, Somerville, Cambridge
and other towns in the Greater Boston Area.
Mediation differs from arbitration. Find out
what makes it work
See how mediation can deal with hostility
or power imbalance
between the parties.
Read about the Role of the Mediator
and the Role of the Parties.