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Attorney Larri Parker

My success has largely been due to the fact that I greet each mediation without expectation and I hold myself to the highest ethical standards, conducting myself with humility, integrity and humor.  A non-threatening environment begins with a warm sincere smile.  While I inform my clients that I am neutral, it is by working together that they learn to trust me.  Perhaps more importantly, by collecting and sharing pertinent information, the parties learn to trust themselves as well as each other.  It is precisely this trust that allows folks to move the process forward to find common solutions.

My work includes getting familiar with my clients, their needs, goals, fears, and hopes.  I also learn about their issues and positions.  I respect both sides of a story and help my clients to not only listen, but to speak up.  I keep balance and level the playing field, remaining impartial while providing information and raising issues.  Working together, mediation participants strategize and plan for the future.   After all, it’s one thing to say,”I want a divorce!” and entirely another to figure out what’s next.

Respecting self-determination is one of the pillars of a successful mediation.   Parties never are required to agree or reach agreement.  Mediation is based upon voluntary participation, informed decision making and an unforced agreement of the parties.  The process is confidential throughout.    The parties use the mediation sessions to jointly consider proposed options and to uncover alternatives so all options are explored before final decisions are made.  As Yogi Berra said, “It’s not over until it’s over” or as I like to say “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

Divorce at your own pace

While good timing isn’t everything, it does go a long way to making the divorce process a little bit easier.  Use mediation to stay in control of the divorce process.

Many traditional divorces include multiple court appearances.  Typically, parties obtain temporary orders before the case is marked for a pre-trial conference.  At various stages of the litigation, parties often are asked to make life altering decisions on the courthouse steps.  When one or both parties are in a heightened emotional state, those decisions may not be the best decisions the parties could make.

Mediation provides time for parties to make considered decisions.  People typically make better decisions  when emotions subside.  In addition, the parties can try out potential plans before committing to them completely.  The mediation process generally leads to agreements that won’t break down as easily as those made hastily under pressure in a traditional divorce proceeding.

The Power of Apology

A sincere heartfelt apology can go a long way to repair a relationship.  In mediation,  sometimes parties are able to transform toxic patterns by acknowledging past mistakes and sharing feelings of remorse about the effect those mistakes had on the relationship.   Apologizing to clear the air and right past wrongs often permits parties to focus on the future and re-establish trust.   When one party apologizes and the other party accepts the apology, both people are saying they want the post-divorce relationship to function well.   Offering an apology is not a sign of weakness, it is a tool of strength.

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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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