Common Mediation Questions
Worcester Divorce Mediator Addresses Common Questions
1. Can we get divorced ourselves without hiring a mediator or divorce attorney?
Answer: Typically, couples who are separating or divorcing are experiencing serious emotional distress and are unable to fairly negotiate in order to resolve their issues without the help of a professional. Additionally, most couples do not have the necessary legal information or know the complexity of laws pertaining to a divorce. For example, an experienced mediator would understand the interplay between alimony and child support and would know how marital property should be divided. The divorce process is very complicated.
Make sure to protect your rights with the help of a skilled family law professional.
2. Why should we go through mediation instead of hiring our own divorce attorneys?
Answer: Couples who mediate their divorce are able to negotiate resolutions in a less combative process. Mediation also gives divorcing couples the ability to sort out the details of their case in a private, confidential process without airing their problems in a public courtroom. Additionally, couples are able to save money by working with one mediator focused on helping them reach a fair settlement, instead of hiring two attorneys.
3. We have already hired two separate attorneys and filed for divorce, can we still use mediation?
Mediator Polly A. Tatum often works with couples who have filed for divorce and then decided to proceed with a joint petition for an uncontested divorce.
4. There are a lot of mediators in my area. How do I find a competent and qualified divorce mediator?
Answer: Experience and compassion matters. You will want to verify the credibility and reputation of your mediator. You will want to find out:
- The mediator’s ability to keep appointments and follow-up with clients
- The mediator’s knowledge of mediation and divorce law
Many mediators are attorneys with a background in divorce and family law. If you hire an attorney mediator, he or she can draft the marital separation agreement. Other mediators who are not attorneys may have a counseling or financial background with little knowledge of divorce law. Mediators who are not attorneys draft a Memorandum of Understanding, which another attorney must be paid to convert into a separation agreement.
Polly A. Tatum is one of the most experienced divorce mediators in Worcester County, having conducted more than 2,000 divorce mediations since 1997.
She is an attorney experienced in family law and human services working with adults and children. Divorce mediation is a valuable way for her to combine both of her professional backgrounds into one practice. She also mentors and supports several local divorce mediators.
5. What percentage of Polly A. Tatum’s professional practice is devoted to divorce mediation?
Answer: Currently more than 90 percent of Polly A. Tatum’s practice is devoted to divorce or post-divorce mediation. She works with approximately 10-20 couples per week. She is one of the most experienced divorce and family law mediators in Worcester County. Polly A. Tatum strives to bring the highest quality divorce and family law mediation services to her clients. She has conducted more than 2,000 divorces and family law mediations since 1997 and is one of the most experienced divorce mediators in Worcester County.
6. My spouse made all the financial decisions in our marriage. I don’t have any information. Should we hire two lawyers to sort through our finances?
Answer: That is very common to occur in a marriage. Part of Polly A. Tatum’s role as your mediator is to provide both of you with homework to disclose all of your assets, income, liabilities, debts and expenses. This saves couples significant legal fees when doing the legwork themselves, with the guidance of an experienced mediator.
7. We have worked out all of our property and custody issues. Can someone just draft up our agreement?
Answer: The key to a successful mediation is that each party fully discloses his or her assets and debts. Sometimes, couples come into mediation thinking they just need an agreement drafted. A mediator’s role is to make sure divorce parties have the necessary information to make informed decisions.
Often, individuals are unaware of the financial implications of the decisions they made.
Remember, going through a divorce will have major financial implications on you and your family. Decisions need to be made addressing what to do with your marital home, savings and any other joint assets or debts. Also, decisions need to be made regarding taxes, filing status and potential capital gain issues.
Contact a Skilled Worcester Family Law Attorney
Family law attorney Polly A. Tatum has extensive experience acting as a third-party neutral divorce mediator. She is available to help you and your spouse address pressing issues related to property division and custody matters in a non-adversarial manner.
Contact her law firm online or call (508) 795-1557 to schedule a strategy session.
She offers evening and weekend appointments. All major credit cards accepted.