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I have been meaning to get in touch with you for a week now, and finally have a minute to do so.
I hope the snow didn't interrupt your days too much.
E. and I went successfully through the walk-in divorce process last Thursday.
We were given Judge Connolly (E. can correct me if I'm wrong).
The staff helped E. get started before I arrived (at 7:45 or so),
and the whole thing was done by 11AM. The judge was courteous and not concerned about any element of our agreement;
he just reviewed the major issues of support, alimony, health insurance, general knowledge and free will and sent us along.
The clerk, who seemed to have the real job of reviewing the agreement and looking for errors before the trials began,
commented to us that we had a very detailed agreement and that she approved of that. We certainly did too!
Anyway, I wanted you to know that it all went through with flying colors and that we're very grateful to you,
as always, for your hard work in preparing such an important document. Not only did it give us great
confidence on the day of the proceedings, but we have even greater faith going forward because we completed
the process of building the agreement with mediation - that is to say, full engagement and participation,
without acrimony, and with your good guidance and humor. Please consider E. or me a reference if anyone would
like to learn more about Interpeople.
I've been meaning to write a similar note as well, and echo all of D.'s points. (It was indeed Judge Connolly.)
One addendum -- the only annoying aspect was that the court's divorce division (the department that took our papers
in the morning -- not the trial court) also made us fill out a full Mass. Dept of Revenue pamphlet with our contact
information, job, vehicles, SSNs, etc. even though we declined having the DOR enforce the support agreement.
It took like 10 minutes to get it all detailed in there, sigh.
Thanks so much for all of your help.
The court hearing went very well. Don't remember the name of the judge, but she was very nice.
We were there all day, but once we got up there she was very appreciative of our very detailed
memorandum. She asked a few questions and that was it. She granted us our divorce and we
were on our way :-)
D. [the son] is doing well. We are excited for school to start. Its been a long summer.
Thank you so much for all your help.
Our hearing was yesterday. Judge Kagan presided. He asked a few questions to each of us, separately:
- Did you have a lawyer look over this MOA?
- Are you paying T. alimony?
- What kind of dog is Rover? (yes, he really asked that!!!)
That was about it. We should get something in the mail in 3-4 weeks.
[personal words between the parties is omitted here]
I felt very good about the way the mediation went and about how we treated one another.
Thanks for all your help!
Our meetings with you helped us to restructure the "business" end of
and now we are working on the emotional/spiritual end.
I am so glad that we met you and worked with you, always felt we were
both cared about in your office.
Your professionalism and expertise has helped tremendously. I hope not
to see you again in the office setting (!)
but I am extremely grateful to you for the time we did spend in your
Happy Holidays and warm regards,
Good afternoon Shuneet…
T. and I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that our court hearing went very well.
The judge actually asked if you were a lawyer because the agreement was very thorough with no errors.
To quote him he said: " Your mediator did a thoughtful and thorough job!
I combed it for mistakes and found none, which is unusual."
He was very complimentary of the way it was written and the way T. and I handled some of the things in the agreement.
Thank you for your help in making a difficult situation easier and smoother.
If we ever have a need to re-visit items of the agreement or need help managing any new
parenting situations that may arise, we will be sure to call you to help us resolve.
I just wanted to let you know, that we got divorced last Tuesday.
It was pretty quick, as you said it would be, although it was not without drama.
About 20 minutes into the days court proceedings, all the power in the building went out!
The judge did process a few more uncontested divorces without power, but then left,
with only two of us left. When we asked if he'd be back, as ours was also uncontested,
the clerk said the judge had concerns about our case and would need computers to process the proceedings.
The power came on after 30 minutes, he came back, and essentially his concern was that with the length of our marriage,
he wanted to be sure that we understood what we were asking for, ie, no alimony, no ability to change the ruling later, etc
You coached us well, we referred to the pages outlining our financial situations, etc.
He was satisfied and then it went smoothly.
I believe the judge was William McSweeney.
He was pretty good, moved things along quickly, asked a few questions here and there.
I wanted to thank you for all you've done for us. While a painful process, your help was immense
and I'd recommend you to anyone in a similar situation. In fact, I gave your name to my therapist
as she inquired and sometimes needs to make referrals to people that do what you do.
I hope our paths cross again Stay well!
It's amazing that you e-mailed us right on the day when I filed our paperwork with the court. I went there in the morning
and drove to the airport from there. The lady who took our docs looked them through and said she couldn't believe
nothing was missing. She called her colleague to double-check and after the latter said everything was in order,
they looked at me in amazement. I told them we had a good mediator who was kicking our butts to make sure we fill out all the paperwork correctly.
So far so good. They didn't give me the date of the hearing though. We should receive it by mail.
I asked how soon the hearing may be scheduled and they said it can be anything between 2 weeks and 2 months.
But because our file was so "pretty" (seriously, this is what they said J), we may expect an earlier rather than later date.
Will let you know how it goes.
We went to court yesterday and were the first case called. Everything went smoothly, only a couple of questions concerning dates.
Thankfully I remembered them all. Then questions about us both agreeing to everything in the MOA.
I think it went so well because you had prepared us so well. Thank you for helping us through this difficult time.
The judge was Edward Donnelly. Thanks again Shuneet and our best to you.
Report on the divorce hearing in court.
I arrived in court at 7:30 AM and had to wait until 8:45 until someone signed off on my forms.
I was directed to the courthouse down the street and found another very long line to wait in. After 2 hours of waiting, I got in front of the court clerk who promised to review my documents after everyone in line was served. The line was so long because this valiant clerk was screening everyone before the judge threw out the case because of incorrect language or missing documents.
My packet was very complete and had the correct wording everywhere thanks to your help. I saw people filling out financial statements in line, changing numbers around and inflating figures, arguing with their soon to be ex-spouse. I saw people in handcuffs taken from jail to appear in court for failing to pay child support. I had a bunch of extra forms to fill out that day. I declined DOR assistance for collecting child support. I had to fill out a survey and provide a self addressed envelope for my wife and I.
I made it into the courtroom for Judge Patricia A. Gorman. I had to wait for the clerk to take my papers and to be called once the session resumed. This took another hour. Around noon I was called before the judge, asked to swear an oath and answer a series of questions. The judge approved my wife's motion to excuse her presence, because she now lives out of state.
The questions verified my identity and date of marriage. I had to state that I understood what
was survived and what was to be merged and integrated. The process took about 3 minutes.
So, in summary it was 5 hours of a lot of waiting and some interesting people-watching. All your helpful preparation helped us get the court's approval without a return visit and made it so that I could represent myself. Thank you once again.
Here is our update from today. I thought we were on at 8:15, but we had to move through
several lines of processing bureaucracy [because we were not pre-scheduled to come on this date].
And, we found out later that Court didn't start until 10am. However, we were the first case called
before Judge Leilah Keamy. She asked us maybe a dozen questions -- most were confirming facts
(date and location of marriage, date of separation, confirmation of irreconcilable nature of breakdown,
and basically that we have been honest). No specific questions about the MOA were asked,
but we were asked if we used a mediator and whether we had access to legal advice.
And, it was over by 10:10. A. and I guessed it might have been 5 minutes in total before the Judge, if that.
She seemed to be excellent and efficient.
As to the MOA, we were complimented twice on it -- the first was Friday when I filed and had everything
stamped by the Probate clerk, and then again today, when the person who preps the cases and goes
through all of the docs before assigning the case said to us "your mediator did a very nice job with this document."
We had some entertainment factor watching the lawyers for other couples --
the XXXX's seemed to be quite the legal battle preparing to brew,
so in a way we are glad we were first and missed that one! And, that we used you instead of lawyers.
Thanks, again, Shuneet.
My name is D.S. and you helped mediate a divorce between me and my former wife, E.S, in 2000 - 2001.
While it was a very difficult time for me emotionally, you got us all through the process smoothly and professionally.
Ten years later we are all doing well. Our daughter S., 26, graduated from University
and is working on her PhD in Molecular Biology. J., 18, is a freshman at _______, studying to be an architect.
And L, 17, is completing her senior year of high school. E. and her new husband are still
living 2 blocks away and we all get along fine. And I am engaged to be married in June (and am moving soon to _____, MA).
You can see me and the kids in the attached photo. The wedding photographer gave me and J.
a big compliment when she said we got along as divorced parents of the bride better than many married parents!
I hope you are well. I was so pleased to see that you are still helping people with your mediation "magic".
You hold a dear place in my heart and I am truly grateful and thankful for all you have done for our family.
I just want to thank you for the excellent support you gave D. and me through the mediation process.
You were so steady and professional. D. and I both loved working with you and that warm, understanding
presence, humor, patience, and caring that you brought to the table really made things so much easier.
The court procedures went very smoothly. We arrived later than the time for walk-ins that Monday morning,
but they still got us in (called a judge who was willing to let us come). We had a woman named Judge Monks.
We only had to sit in the courtroom for about 20 minutes before our names were called.
After looking at our paperwork the only question she had was about a typo near the top of p. 8 about D.'s inheritance.
Pretty sharp skimming she did! All her other questions to us were routine, the same she had asked other couples.
Everything went through fine, I just received the divorce nisi notice today.
Shuneet, again, you were wonderful. I look forward to running into you sometime around the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, all the best to you and yours.
Dear Dr. Thomson,
T. and I had our divorce court appointment this morning and everything went extremely smoothly.
We now have a good appreciation of the work and counseling you did for us because we felt very prepared.
There were other couples who showed up with empty financial statements and other omissions that resulted
in unexpected delays and scrambling.
Thanks very much for all your help and for making a difficult experience manageable.
Dear Dr. Thomson,
I am writing to thank you after going to court and sailing through without a problem.
J. did file a motion to excuse his presence and stayed in FL and I went with a friend for support.
The judge's name was Judge Monk. She was very decent.
The divorce, which as you know I did not want, has been an awful experience, but you made it half bearable.
Your professional skill and knowledge of the subject matter were essential for us because of our complex finances, thank you.
As you yourself said, I hope we never need you again, but if problems come up, we will know whom to turn to.
Dear Dr. Thomson,
S. and I would like to thank your for your help during this difficult
time. You helped us navigate the support issues and the financial
stuff that was impossible for us to deal with on our own and helped us move forward with a good parenting plan.
We will certainly recommend you to our friends and acquaintances (although we hope they never need you!).
Good bye and God bless,
T. and S.
A. and I had our court hearing today with Judge DiGangi. You requested that we get back to you about the hearing afterwards,
so I'm following up.
We arrived at the court in Cambridge and had to stand in line outside like we were waiting to buy tickets to a movie.
After going through the metal detectors, we proceeded up to the courtroom. Waited 45 minutes for DiGangi to enter.
Didn't know that there would be other people in the courtroom with us. Found it really off-putting and an invasion of
privacy that we could hear the specifics of other people's private lives and that they could hear ours during the proceedings.
A. and I went next and the only question DiGangi, who was brusque and on autopilot, seemed interested in was where we were married.
He couldn't seem to understand why our marriage license said one place if we had married in another town in the same state.
"Why is that so confusing," I thought? We married in one place, though we were living in another at the time.
He asked us to clarify.
He asked a bunch of standard questions -- if we'd read the agreement, if the irretrievable breakdown of our
marriage had begun in January of '08, if we'd sold our home, if I'd received what we'd agreed upon from S. by now,
if we believed our agreement to be fair and equitable, and we just kept saying, "Yes."
He quickly told us the divorce would be final in 120 days and said, "Good luck."
He spent more time with the couple before us because they had a child, I believe, but even at that -
their hearing lasted maybe 10 minutes (one of them had an attorney; the other didn't),
while our hearing lasted maybe 3 minutes -- or less.
That's the scoop.
Thank you for all your help!