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Thinking about divorce? Ask an experienced Worcester Divorce Attorney if divorce mediation is right for you.

If you made it through the holidays thinking “never again” you may be ready to divorce. Think before you act. You could initiate an expensive, litigious and stressful process or you could consider divorce mediation.

You fell in love, got married, and maybe you had kids. Getting divorced may not be easy, but why make it harder or more expensive than it has to be.

Try mediation before going to court.

Divorce Mediation can be faster, cheaper and less stressful than traditional representation. The cost to divorce with attorneys and multiple court appearances can become enormous.

You have nothing to lose by using mediation; it’s simpler, quicker and makes better outcomes. You stay in control of the divorce mediation, it’s confidential and private.

Mediation involves the use of an independent, qualified and neutral third party to help couples talk through how they will divide their assets and decide what to do with their children.

Each New Year many couples decide to separate.  The stressful holidays are behind them and they are ready for a fresh start.

Happy New Year!  Happy new you!

Contact Parker Mediation at 508.795.0200 to learn more about divorce mediation and what we can do for you.

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

Sometimes people can “get stuck” in the divorce process.  This can occur when one or both parties take a stand and become as seemingly immovable as a mountain.  When people take positions, they often fail to see solutions to the problems.  Focusing only on one possibility can lead to an impasse. Communication may break down, harsh words may be exchanged, and the parties may become frustrated and drift even further apart.  An experienced mediator guides folks to understand the Zen Buddhist idea captured by Donovan in the song, “There is a Mountain.”

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

From my own experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro last summer, I attest to the truth of this statement.  Walking for days on the African plains, creeping toward the great monadnock affectionately nicknamed “Kili”, I understood.  Mount Kilimanjaro was big, really large, even enormous.  I was not, however, paralyzed with fear; I proceeded and yielded to the task.  As I climbed the looming mountain, with each small step, it disappeared beneath my feet. Finally, when I reached the summit, I was as light as the air.

The practice of teaching clients to see beyond the mountain, to explore alternatives to the principles they cling too, to get past the positions they are stuck on, is artful mediation.  When the mediator is mindful of potential situational deadlock, tactics may be used to avoid a destructive phase where communication deteriorates and progress is halted.  An experienced divorce mediator shares professional and personal insight with clients, permitting change and creating an atmosphere where solutions are made.  At times this may be subtle, but may also be more of a metamorphosis, where understanding and collaboration promote change.

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

The song continues, “The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within.”  Mindful mediation can help people give up the old ways and find a new, fresh, perhaps even better life.  An experienced, professional mediator can help.

If you wish to learn how you can keep control of your divorce, call our divorce mediation case manager, Yvonne, she’ll get you started in your new life.

Call us at 508 795 0200.

 

Lori Caravalho Joins Parker Mediation

Lori Caravalho is the newest member to join the team at Parker Mediation. She previously served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) in Worcester County, Massachusetts. At CASA, she became a supervisor and trainer before moving on to other mediation work with families and children. Lori provided Permanency Mediation services for Children’s Services of Roxbury, Inc., Massachusetts Families for Kids (“MFFK”). She is a talented and experienced mediator.
Lori Caravalho earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Worcester State University. She is a Court Investigator for the Worcester County Juvenile Court and has years of experience working within the court systems. Her experience working with families in transition enables her to guide folks through the divorce mediation process with ease. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with Lori or learn more about divorce mediation, call us today at 508 795 0200.

Divorce is like Climbing a Mountain

Getting divorced is like climbing a mountain. You have to take one step at a time. The challenge of divorce, like climbing a mountain, is you cannot see what is on the other side until you reach the top. Often times it seems the peak is too high to reach or exhaustion clouds the mind making it difficult to go on. Having a guide is often the best way to manage a challenging climb.

At Parker Mediation, we explain each step and prepare you for the next. Through a series of mediation sessions, couples work out solutions and formulate a plan for the future. This includes a parenting plan that not only creates a schedule for the children, but also develops a method for managing inevitable changes as the children age. The parties develop a financial plan that takes into account the present and future needs of the children.

The mediator helps you to anticipate the future, which allows for smoother transitions. No divorce plan is complete without making budgets and developing a financial plan to meet the current needs and future needs of the parties and any children. It is never too early to start saving for college expenses or planning for retirement. The rising cost of education, healthcare and the uncertainty over whether social security will be adequate support are prime examples why good financial planning is so important.

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Massachusetts Divorce Mediation; Where Do you Begin?

Parties in mediation want to know what to do to make their divorce as simple as possible. Here are some tips on getting started.  Have a chat with your spouse and decide who will gather the necessary documents.  You may want to divide these tasks or break them down into several steps.   Bring the documents that you have collected to the next mediation session.  Don’t worry about gathering all the documents at once.  If convenient, have copies made for each of you and for the mediator.

1. Tax Documents
a. Federal tax returns filed by you jointly for the last three (3) years
b. State tax returns filed by you jointly for the last three (3) years

2. A Certified Copy of the  Marriage Certificate
3. Court Approved Parenting Certificates
4. Information about the Children of this Marriage
a. Names and dates of birth
b. Vision Statement

5. Life Insurance Policies
a. Company
b. Owner of the policy
c. Term or Annuity
d. Death Benefit or Cash Value

6. Family Health Insurance Plan
a. Company
b. Owner of the policy
c. Coverage of the non-employee spouse after divorce
d. Coverage of the children after divorce
e. Availability of a more economical form of health insurance

6. Pension, Annuity, Profit Sharing, Deferred Income or other Retirement Plan
a. Company
b. Owner of the policy
c. Present Value or Death Benefit

7. Present Household Expenses
a. Are you up to date on bills?
b. How is each party contributing?

8. Marital Home
a. Deed
b. Approximate Fair Market Value
c. Mortgage Statement

9. Other Assets
a. Bank Account Statements
b. Money Market Funds
c. Stock and Bond Portfolio Statements
d. Business Interests
e. Vehicles,  Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds Values
f. Values for Significant Personal Property

10. Possible Legacies or Inheritances
a. Estate Planning Documents
b. Trust Fund Documents

Your mediator will work with you on the topics that you are prepared to discuss.  Taking measured steps in the mediation process will help you to stay in control and not feel overwhelmed.   The beauty of mediation is that you can progress at your own pace and take time to discuss what is important to you.

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