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What is a divorce mediator and what do they do?

A divorce mediator is a trained, neutral third party who guides divorcing spouses through the negotiation of a final separation agreement that can be entered by a Massachusetts Probate and Family Court judge without the need for litigation. Although many divorce mediators are attorneys, there is not a requirement under Massachusetts law that a mediator meet any special educational requirements beyond those outlined in Ch. 233, s. 23C. Many spouses seek out experienced divorce attorneys to serve as mediators because divorce attorneys are intimately familiar with the issues raised in a divorce, as well as the technical specifications of a separation agreement. It is important to note, however, that a divorce mediator is not offering legal advice, even if he or she is a trained attorney.

Divorce mediation is a non-adversarial and voluntary procedure for conflict resolution. It is not the mediator’s job to instruct the parties to agree on certain issues. Instead, the mediator’s role is to facilitate negotiation and agreement by asking the right questions, identifying and finalizing areas of agreement, and assisting in the preparation of a final separation agreement which effectively contains the mutual agreements of the parties.

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