Divorce Mediation FAQS

How is mediation different than the traditional model of divorce?

Divorce Mediation supports divorcing couples (or couples who have cohabitated but not married) to draft their own agreement.  Mediation creates an environment conducive to direct, honest communication and creative thinking.

Katherine assists her clients in identifying all issues necessary to include in a written agreement for submission/approval of the Court.  The divorcing couple makes all of the decisions.  Katherine helps them work through any difficult moments that are a typical part of the mediation process.

What does a divorce mediator do?

Katherine’s role is to help the separating couple explore options and obtain information in a setting that encourages open, honest communication.  An agenda is developed specifically tailored to the parties’ situation.

The clients, together, make all the decisions.  Katherine facilitates the discussion, assisting both in understanding the needs and concerns of all.  In this environment and with a neutral mediator, sensitive issues can more easily be explored and resolved.

Katherine will provide the parties with a Memorandum of Understanding which is the foundation for a formal Separation/Divorce Agreement.  Should the parties prefer, Katherine can have a Separation/Divorce Agreement drawn up by a colleague.  It is this Separation /Divorce Agreement that will be submitted for approval by the Massachusetts Probate & Family Court from which the parties will seek a judgment of divorce.

Both clients are advised have the document reviewed by their respective attorney.

Why mediate?

For couples, capable of expressing their respective positions, seeking to make the welfare of their children a priority, willing to make full financial disclosure and amenable to reasonable compromises or tradeoffs, the answer is “Why not?”

What are the possible benefits?

  • It is private and confidential
  • The parties speak directly to each other in an environment that encourages a frank discussion of issues
  • Children are less likely to be embroiled in an potentially emotionally painful conflict
  • When divorcing couples craft their own comprehensive settlement, both parties are more committed to its’ strict enforcement, minimizing the likelihood of future court proceedings
  • The cost of divorce is mediation typically between $2,000-$4,000 and is often shared between the parties; divorce litigation can cost significantly more
  • The overwhelming majority of divorce mediations result in an agreement

What issues can be mediated?

Many potential areas of conflict may be successfully mediated, the most typical ones include:

  • Identification of Separate Property
  • Division/Sale of Real Estate
  • Division of Marital Assets/Debts
  • Residence and/or Decision Making Responsibility of Children
  • Parenting Plans
  • Child Support/College Expenses
  • Health/Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plans/Pensions/Annuities
  • Spousal Support
  • Any Others as Needed/Requested

When are you available to see people?

Harmony Counseling strives to offer flexible scheduling including early mornings, evenings, and weekends.

What are my payment options?

  • Full fee is expected at the time of service unless alternate payment arrangements have been made in advance of the appointment. Check, Cash, MasterCard and Visa are accepted forms of payment although cash or check is the preferred method.
  • Pro-bono and/or sliding-fee clients may be accepted depending on appointment availability.




239 Boston Street, Topsfield, MA 01983