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If you are going to court for any civil matter, which includes divorce and personal injury cases, you have alternative dispute resolution options in Massachusetts. This means that you have options outside of just going before a judge and having the judge decide your case. Mediation is one of the most common options. To understand if this fits your situation, you need to understand how it works.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority explains mediation is when you and the other party sit with a neutral third party to discuss your case and reach a resolution. The mediator serves as an impartial party that helps move things along and guide you to making a final decision.

When you agree to mediation, the process usually starts with setting the rules and a general plan for the process. You will usually all meet for this. You may have attorneys present. Ideally, you will continue to meet, following the plan you set out. If things become too difficult for you both to be in the room, you may each meet separately with the mediator.

The mediator may give expert opinions and advice along the way to both of you. Do keep in mind that the mediator will not rule on your case and cannot make either of you make a decision you do not want to make. He or she is merely a guide to keep the process moving along.

As long as you are making progress, you will likely stick with the mediation process.  If you get to a point where you cannot see a resolution being made, then your case can go to court. This information is for education and is not legal advice.