Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

The role of a mediator in ending a marriage

Mediation is a non-traditional way to bring about a divorce. Whereas traditional roads to divorce lead individuals through litigation, mediation helps parties set aside their differences, so they can collaboratively settle their disagreements. Massachusetts residents who use mediation to end their marriages have control over their divorce outcomes and often experience satisfaction with the process of directing their own divorce negotiations.

Although the goal of mediation is to allow the parties to settle their own differences, it is often necessary for a mediator to provide support and information to help facilitate those ends. A mediator does not represent either of the parties to a divorce. Rather, they are a neutral entity, a third party that offers no guidance or recommendations to the parties but instead facilitates their conversations for productivity.

A mediator is a problem-solver. Divorces often come about because of problems between spouses and, when they choose to use mediation to end their marriages, they often require assistance working through their marital challenges. While mediators cannot tell the parties what to do, they can help keep the lines of communication open, while helping the parties recognize and remember their divorce needs and priorities.

A mediator helps a divorcing couple keep their negotiations on track and moving in the right direction. They offer problem-solving suggestions when conflicts arise and support the parties' understanding of their choices, options, and needs as they facilitate open dialogue and communication. Divorce mediation is not handled by all family law attorneys, so readers who want more information about this path may choose to speak with practitioners who include it in their practice.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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Needham, MA 02494

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