Are children or supportive friends permitted to attend mediation sessions?

Additional Information:

May a child who is the subject of mediation attend the mediation session?  Furthermore, are other supportive friends or family members permitted to attend?

ANSWER:

Depending of the circumstances, if both parents and the mediator agree, a child may attend and be a part of a mediation session.  It is crucial for the parents and mediator to determine whether being a part of the mediation process would be beneficial or detrimental to the child.  Perhaps the child’s therapist may be called upon to make a recommendation.  It is rather uncommon for a child to attend a mediation session and the older the child the more likely that it would make sense. Since the mediation process is between the two spouses, it is not recommended that supportive friends or family members attend the mediation sessions.

Massachusetts family law mediator, Attorney Tracy Fischer is a  Greater Boston metro family and divorce mediator with offices in Danvers and Needham, Massachusetts. She provides mediation and family law services to individuals and families throughout the Boston Metro region including Andover, Beverly, Boxford, Burlington, Danvers, Gloucester, Marblehead, Newton, Needham, Peabody, Salem, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Waltham, Watertown,  Wayland, Wellesley, Weston and Wilmington, Massachusetts.