DiGregorio Law wants to be your go-to resource during this emotionally tough time. If you have further questions about mediation, how it all works or how DiGregorio Law can help, hopefully we have answered them below.
Should I choose Mediation instead of lawyering up?
Yes! Mediation is the best way to resolve conflict and preserve harmony for your family when you have made the decision to end your marriage. It saves energy, time, and money. It keeps you in control of the process and the substance of addressing your differences, resulting in a more satisfying and faster outcome. You will avoid litigation and costly court fees; in fact, mediation usually is a fraction of the cost of traditional divorce proceedings. Most importantly, you – not the courts – determine all aspects of a final settlement for your family.
Does mediation work?
Yes! Mediation is a form of dispute resolution when two parties come together to work through disagreements to reach common ground. A skilled mediator who has experience in family law, like Jennifer, will help you understand the legal process and explore your options so together you are able to reach a creative and empowering final settlement. Jennifer and her team then draft and file all the legal documents necessary with the Probate and Family Court on your behalf.
Does Mediation create a legal plan for my family?
Yes! As an experienced attorney and mediator, we will help you through all stages of negotiation such that you are able to proceed with a Joint Petition for Divorce or Joint Petition to Modify Judgment on an uncontested basis with the Probate and Family Court, including detailed financial statements and extensive written settlement agreements.
We don’t agree on anything- is Mediation even possible?
Yes! Most mediations begin with disconnects on everything, such as when you spend time with your children, how your resources will cover living expenses, and who has occupancy of your family home. We build upon your successes as an intact family and introduce parts of informal discussions which you may have had. Jennifer recognizes that most couples are unaware of the many ”moving parts” which come together in a final settlement. She spends the time necessary to tackle all of the expected elements of a comprehensive agreement.
So Jennifer represents both of us?
No! Jennifer serves as a neutral guide rather than an attorney advocate. The Professional Rules of Ethics prohibit her from representing both of you because you have different financial and legal interests (despite your shared purpose in choosing mediation). It is Jennifer’s responsibility to protect you throughout the negotiations which lead to your written agreement, a responsibility which she takes seriously. She is committed to drafting a settlement for you which a Probate and Family Court judge ultimately will accept as fair and reasonable.
Do both of us need to hire attorneys, too?
No! There is no expectation or requirement that you have attorneys of your own during this process or at your final uncontested hearing. You have the ability to work with a mediation coach to strategize or to review your final agreement, but this is not mandatory. Many of our clients choose not to seek additional counsel because they receive so much information from Jennifer.
Shouldn’t I go to court to finalize plans?
Yes! Even with a mediated agreement, you and your partner/spouse still are required to file a case with the Probate and Family Court to have a judge approve your settlement. We believe that mediation is the best course to take to reach an agreement. We help you with the preparation and submission of all documents needed to pursue your case so the Trial Department is able to schedule a quick hearing for you. You will be assigned an uncontested hearing date with your judge by mail, with this hearing most likely to happen by conference call or ZOOM.