The field of mediation is one that is growing and people are becoming increasingly aware of. Different places and practitioners use different styles of mediation. This can be confusing.
The basic premise of mediation is it creates an opportunity for parties to have a conversation facilitated by a third party neutral. After that, styles can vary greatly. For example, some Mediators will tell parties what they believe their case is worth, what their experience has been seeing other cases go to litigation, or what a party can expect for a settlement range.
At Family Services of Central Massachusetts, we provide what is called “facilitative” mediation services. Facilitative mediation means that Mediators do not tell couples what to do, give advice, or make decisions for couples. Every decision comes from you. Mediators do help the parties think through all the probable and expected issues couples need to consider in preparation for divorce.
We also conduct a Screening at the Worcester Probate Court once or twice a month. As one of several court approved mediation programs, Family Services of Central Massachusetts agrees to provide litigants the opportunity to mediate for up to two free sessions in court.
If parties reach agreement we can help draft it, submit it to the court for approval, then you would be free to leave. If you need more than two sessions and would like to continue using our services, we are happy to continue mediating at our office per our Sliding Fee Scale.
Mediation services we provide in court are different than what you may experience if you mediate with the Probation Department. We abide by the principles of mediation which are that it is: Voluntary, Confidential, and Neutral. Parties also must have Informed Consent and Self Determination. We do not make suggestions or tell parties what to do. What is called “mediation” with the Probation Department differs where it is not confidential (meaning they can report anything you say to a Judge), is more a consultation or check-in, and they can make suggestions.