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Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation allows couples to create the terms of their divorce and separation agreement amicably. MWI’s experienced mediators help clients reach agreement on each topic related to divorce in Massachusetts, including: division of assets, children, parenting time, health insurance, and more. MWI offers in-person and online divorce mediation services.


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Divorce Mediators in MA (click on photo for bio)

We provide online divorce mediation services and in-person services in various locations.

  • Vanessa Linsey
    Vanessa Linsey
  • Ben Stich
    Ben Stich
  • Judge Linda Pearce Prestley, (ret)
    Judge Linda Pearce Prestley, (ret)
  • Nnena Odim
    Nnena Odim
Vanessa Linsey

Mediating Family and Divorce Cases
617-895-4027 | vlinsey@mwi.org

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Vanessa Linsey is a family mediator with MWI. Vanessa mediates a variety of cases for Massachusetts District, Municipal, and Probate and Family Courts, including: divorce, parenting plans, never-married parents, staying married, small claims, and harassment prevention orders.

Vanessa is also a certified mindfulness teacher with a decade of experience teaching insight practices and mindful communication. In 2019, she published a prescriptive memoir on mindful parenting in a modern family. Vanessa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication with honors from Bridgewater State University. She trained in Professional Mediation at Cornell University.

Vanessa has been a stepmother for 20 years. With three children and four stepchildren ages eight to 28, she has been through it all. She understands the power of productive conversation and sees family mediation as an opportunity for growth and transformation through reimagined relationships.


Focus Areas

  • Mediation to Stay Married
  • Parent / Teen Mediation
  • Stepfamily Mediation
  • Divorce Mediation
  • COVID 19 Parenting Plan changes / requests for changes
  • Adult Sibling Disputes
  • Child Support
  • Never Married Parents Mediation
  • Same-sex Divorce Mediation
  • Harassment Prevention Orders

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Author, Metta Mom, A Mindful Guide to Managing Your Mood & Your Brood
  • Mediator, MWI Divorce and Family Mediation Panel
  • Mediator, Massachusetts District & Municipal Courts
  • Founder, Chrysalis Meditation Center
  • Speaker, Well Summit
  • Certified Lifeboat Commander, Holland America Line

Background and Education

  • BA in Speech Communications, with honors, Bridgewater State University, 1999
  • Professional Mediation Program, Cornell University
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Tools Practicum, University of Massachusetts
  • Meditation Teacher Training, Boston Buddha

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Ben Stich

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Mediating Divorce & Family Cases via Zoom
617-895-4028 | divorce@mwi.org

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Dispute Resolution Experience

Ben Stich is a family and divorce mediator with MWI. He mediates conflicts of all kinds, specializing in family disputes. He mediates divorce, co-parenting conflict, and marital issues. Ben also mediates all types of family disputes such as conflict between parents and their adult children; adult siblings; and parents and their teenage children. Ben also helps families improve their co-parenting as an instructor for the state’s only High Conflict Parent Education program at William James College.

In addition to mediating, Ben is certified in the Think:Kids Collaborate Problem Solving© model and works with Think:Kids at MGH’s Department of Psychiatry to help families, educators, and clinicians work effectively with children and teens who exhibit challenging behaviors .

Ben is a licensed independent clinical social worker and an active member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and the Massachusetts’ chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.


Focus Areas

  • Divorce for short-term and long-term marriages
  • Co-Parenting plans
  • Custody disputes
  • Parent-Teen Conflict
  • Marriage Problems
  • Interim separation agreements
  • Asset and liability division
  • Property division
  • High conflict divorce matters
  • Elder and estate disputes

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Member, Massachusetts Council for Family Mediation (MCFM)
  • Licensed Independent Social Worker (LICSW)
  • School Adjustment Counselor License
  • Member, National Association of Social Workers
  • Collaborative Problem Solving Certification from Mass General’s Department of Psychiatry’s Think:Kids program
  • Member, AFCC

Lectures and ADR Trainings Conducted & Publications

  • “Better Parent” Parent Education Program, June 2016 – August 2021
  • Parenting Apart Instructor for the Divorce Center, 2014 – 2016
  • Communication and Conflict Blogger, 2013 – present
  • Communication Workshop for the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, 2014
  • High Conflict Divorce Mediation Training, 2013
  • Collaborative Problem Solving for:
    – Canton School District, Central Cabinet, 2011-2012
    – MENTOR Network – Therapeutic Foster Care Program, 2011
    – Massachusetts School Counselors Association – Guidance Administrators Forum, 2011
  • More Than Words, Workplace Communication Workshop, 2010
  • Germaine Lawrence, Family Communication Workshop, Co-Facilitator, (2001 – 2005)
  • Residential Treatment for Adolescent Girls for:
    – National Child Welfare League of America Conference (2005)
    – MASOC Annual Conference (2005-2009)
    – Tenth National Workshop on Adult and Juvenile Female Offenders (2003)

Background and Education

  • M.Ed in Organizational Development, Endicott College
  • MSW, Boston College, 2001
  • BA, Trinity College, 1996

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Judge Linda Pearce Prestley, (ret)

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Co-Mediating Family, Divorce, and Employment Cases with MWI
617-895-4028divorce@mwi.org

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Dispute Resolution Experience

Hon. Linda Pearce Prestley (ret.) is a former Superior Court Judge of the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch where she served as a presiding judge in the Family court. She is now a co-mediator with MWI in Boston. Judge Prestley mediates divorce, family, permanency planning, civil, employment, and housing cases. Her expertise includes all aspects of family law matters, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, diversity training, legal issues in education, employment discrimination, and administrative remedies. In 1997, Judge Prestley was appointed by the Governor as an ombudsman to head the Office of the Child Advocate, an oversight entity of agencies providing services to children. Prior to becoming a mediator and judge, she worked as an Assistant Attorney General representing the State of Connecticut’s Department of Education, Department of Children and Families, and the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. She also served as an adjunct professor at the college and law school levels.


Representative Matters

  • Divorce Mediation
  • Family Mediation
  • Civil Disputes
  • Employment discrimination
  • Permanency

Judge Prestley now specializes in defusing disputes and resolving them through mediation.


Mediation Training

  • Mediation Matters, Kensington, MD, 2018
  • Martha’s Vineyard Mediation Program, Vineyard Haven, MA, 2019
  • Mediation Works Inc (MWI), 2019-2020
  • Permanency Planning Mediation, 2020

Background and Education

  • Hood College, Frederick, MD (Bachelor of Arts)
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (Master of Education)
  • University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, CT, (Juris Doctorate)

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Nnena Odim

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Serving as an Ombuds & Mediating Divorce, Family, and Employment Matters with MWI
Case Manager: Josh Hoch: 617-895-4028 | jhoch@mwi.org

 

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Dispute Resolution Experience

Nnena Odim is an ombuds, mediator, trainer, attorney, and consultant. She has been mediating since 1997 and has mediated disputes involving issues such as employment, housing, business, consumer, and specializes in mediating the full range of family/domestic relations (elder care, adoption, care and protection, CHINS, divorce, grandparent visitation, and LGBTQ issues, etc.). Nnena also designed and/or led numerous conflict management trainings for several local and national businesses and agencies, including Coca Cola Enterprises, the Boston Public Schools, and the Massachusetts Housing Authority. In addition to her mediation and conflict resolution training background, Nnena is the Director and Senior Clinical Instructor of the Family/Domestic Violence Law Clinic at The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. She provides experiential training to law students as she teaches them how to become effective and ethical attorneys. Nnena has also worked with the Harvard Mediation Program and Harvard Program on Negotiation to provide trainings for students and various community members and to supervise Harvard Law School students in their mediation and negotiation studies. Nnena has mediated personal, academic, and administrative issues between students and faculty in higher education settings and served as a coach of mediation skills for trainings at MIT, Suffolk and Boston College Law Schools, and New England School of Law. In 2013, Nnena was a Top Women in the Law award recipient from Mass. Lawyers Weekly. In 2015, she received the Harvard Law School Dean’s Award for Excellence.


Focus Areas

  • Organizational Ombuds Work
  • Worked with over 100 same-sex couples in both mediation and litigation, on a variety of legal scenarios, such as 2nd parent adoptions, divorce (with and without children), paternity, business dissolution, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and donor agreements for sperm donation
  • Drafted over 100 post-mediation Settlement Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding
  • Guardian ad Litem, appointed by Suffolk and Middlesex County Family and Probate Courts
  • Workplace and Employment Mediation

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Top Women in the Law award recipient, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2013
  • Member, Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Licensed Real Estate Broker

Lectures and ADR Trainings Conducted

  • Training faculty for MWI’s annual Advanced Divorce Training
  • Guest lecturer for Suffolk and Boston College Law Schools’ mediation courses

Background and Education

  • J.D., Northeastern University School of Law (1997)
  • M.S., University of Massachusetts/Amherst (1991)
  • B.S., University of Pittsburgh (1985)

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Divorce Mediation Process

MWI guides clients through each step of the divorce process in Massachusetts:

  1. Meet with a mediator to learn more about divorce mediation – schedule a free consultation here
    • Online divorce mediation is available with most MWI divorce mediators. If you prefer to meet in person, just let us know.
  2. At a first session:
    • Start discussing topics and work toward reaching agreement
      • Download a divorce checklist here
    • Obtain information to make informed decisions
  3. During mediation, reach agreements that work for each of you (and for your children)
  4. Review a draft of your divorce agreement
  5. Finalize, sign, and notarize paperwork
  6. Attend court (via Zoom or in person – your choice) for a brief hearing

Schedule Time to Speak with a Mediator

 

Why Divorce Mediation?

Since divorce mediators assist couples in reaching an amicable divorce agreement in less time and with less cost than other methods, such as litigation, divorce mediation is a good choice for many divorcing couples. To find out if divorce mediation is an option for your situation, contact us at 617-895-4028 or request a call from a divorce mediator.

Schedule a Consultation

For couples considering divorce or who have made the decision to divorce, we invite you to take advantage of a free consultation with a mediator via Zoom or phone.

Locations

MWI provides online (remote via Zoom) divorce mediation for all Massachusetts divorce cases. In-person services are available by request. In addition, a divorce mediator may be able to travel to you. For tips about online divorce mediation, click here.

Contact Us

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Client Comments

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“There is nothing easy or pleasant about mediating a divorce, so it is critical to have a clearly neutral yet supportive individual leading you through it. Josh is that kind of person. Our goal was to avoid contentious litigation, yet to both come out feeling we had done our best to agree on a fair settlement. Mediation can be the path to this, and having the right person leading the process, such as Josh, is essential. I highly recommend Josh and his organization.”

Divorce Mediation Client February 10, 2019

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For More Information

For more information contact MWI's Director of Mediation & Ombuds Services, Josh Hoch, at jhoch@mwi.org.