Mediation and Collaborative Law

What Is A Collaborative Divorce?

A Collaborative Divorce is a process that allows couples that have decided to end their marriage to work with their lawyers to facilitate a settlement that best meets the needs of the entire family; spouses and children, without the underlying threat of litigation. It promotes an atmosphere of co-operation thus avoiding the combative atmosphere that pervades so many divorces.


Why Choose A Collaborative Divorce?

A Collaborative Divorce allows the spouses to retain control of decision making thus avoiding having a judge making decisions for you on all contested issues. Choosing a collaborative approach helps couples to rationally navigate through difficult, emotionally charged, decision-making situations.

An attorney that is trained in Collaborative Divorce helps you move through difficult decision-making situations and brings in other specialists such as financial planners, appraisers, or mental health professionals as needed to reach an agreement that benefits everybody. The attorneys involved also sign a disqualification clause which states if the collaborative approach does not work, they are disqualified from representing their client in the litigation.


How Does A Collaborative Divorce Differ From Mediation?

A Collaborative Divorce is similar to mediation in that it is a non-adversarial, settlement driven approach to divorce. Generally, with divorce mediation, attorneys do not participate in the mediation session. In Collaborative Divorce the attorneys, parties, and facilitator/coach will all meet on a regular basis.


How Does A Collaborative Divorce Work?

Both parties must agree to retain attorneys trained in Collaborative Law. The clients, attorneys, and coach/facilitator sign a Collaborative Process Agreement.

Negotiations take place during meetings in which the clients, attorneys, and coach/facilitator actively participate. Other professionals such as financial neutrals or mental health professionals may be brought in as necessary.

Once a settlement is reached, the attorneys draft an agreement that represents the decisions made by the clients. This agreement is submitted to the Court for approval.


How Much Does A Collaborative Divorce Cost?

A Collaborative Divorce is almost always significantly less costly that a conventionally litigated divorce.

Negotiations take place during meetings in which the clients, attorneys, and coach/facilitator actively participate. Other professionals such as financial neutrals or mental health professionals may be brought in as necessary.

Get In Touch


Attorney Melissa Levine-Piro is trained as a Collaborative Law Attorney through
the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council.

If you’re interested in Collaborative Law for your divorce, please call our office at 978­-637-­2048 or contact Melissa directly through email at e-mail us.

Go to contact

What Is Mediation?

Mediation is a voluntary process in which a neutral third party works with the parties to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution.

What is Divorce Mediation? Divorce Mediation provides couples contemplating or going through a divorce with a safe and neutral space to work through the issues of the divorce with the assistance of a trained divorce mediator. Please go to our forms page to access the Divorce Mediation Agenda for a sample of the issues that will be discussed during the divorce mediation process.


Why Choose Mediation?

Mediation is beneficial for multiple reasons. First, mediation allows the parties to maintain control over the outcome of their dispute without the decision resting in the hands of a judge. Additionally, mediation can be much more cost efficient than traditional litigation.


How Much Does Mediation Cost?

Mediation is usually far more cost effective than retaining individual attorneys and pursuing litigation. However, it is still recommended that each party obtain an attorney to review any agreement written up as a result of the mediation process. In general, a divorce can cost each party upwards of $5,000-$10,000 in attorney’s fees. At Middlesex Mediation Group, we charge $250.00 per hour. We find that a typical divorce mediation takes between 4 and 10 hours, so the total cost usually ranges from $1,000-$2,500. Obviously each individual mediation can take more or less time depending on the individual case. Middlesex Mediation Group does not take any upfront retainers, but rather mediation clients pay at the end of each session. Typically mediation sessions are done in 2 hour blocks; however, one hour time slots may also be used.


Our Strengths

Levine-Piro Law works with each individual case to come up with the best possible resolution. While there is no cookie cutter solution that fits every client’s needs, we understand that going through a divorce is stressful and emotional and we do our best to help you through what can be an especially trying time.


Location and Hours

Levine-Piro Law is conveniently located on Rt. 117 (Great Road) in Maynard, Massachusetts. Our street address is 63 Great Road, Suite 101. There is ample parking in the front of the building. Levine-Piro Law is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am until 5:30pm and by appointment on evenings and weekends.

Free Consultation


Call us at 978­-637-­2048 to set up a consultation or e-mail us
to set up a free 30 minute consultation.