Board of Directors




Karl W. Topor, Attorney
Email: Karl Topor

Karl W. Topor, Esq. is the President of The Divorce Center. He is also the co-chair of the Membership. This is his third elected term as president. He has held various leadership roles in the organization since 2006.

Karl established his own Family Law firm in 1999. He began his career working with his father and uncles over 25 years ago. He is a member of the Boston Bar Association Family Law Section, Massachusetts Bar Association, founding member of the AFCC New York Chapter, fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and served two terms as a council member for the American Bar Association Section of Family Law.

Karl is involved in several pro-bono groups including the Senior Partners for Justice of the Volunteer Law Project of the Boston Bar Association which is dedicated to promoting justice for all litigants in the family court system. Karl has written articles on a variety of topics covering family law issues. He has participated as a speaker, moderator, and producer of various CLE programs on a state and national level.


Diane C. Pappas, CDFA
Email: Diane C. Pappas

Diane C. Pappas is a Financial Planner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, and trained Mediator with Solutions for Divorce.

Drawing on over 20 years of life and work experience, Diane develops financial strategies and plans that solve her clients’ short and long-term issues. She is passionate about educating her clients, so that they are informed and in control of the important financial decisions they are making.

This passion is exhibited in her ability to empathize with her divorcing clients and to truly understand and appreciate each of their own unique circumstances. As a single mother of two college- aged children, Diane understands the complex challenges both men and women face in today’s world. Helping her clients navigate the financial intricacies of divorce and providing them with realistic options and strategies that work for their family, today and in the future, is the core of Diane’s practice. Other focus areas include Special Needs divorce planning and post-divorce financial planning.

Diane is the Secretary and founding member of the Boston Chapter of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP), and a member of the MCFM and the FPA. Diane recently presented a workshop on the tax and finance issues for mediators at the annual meeting of the MCFM and co-heads a financial peer group for divorce professionals. She is currently enrolled in Boston University’s Institute of Finance CFP® program.

Diane enjoys living the simple life in Gloucester – walking on the beach, watching the sunset, and boating with her family.


Vice President
Edward L. Buckner, Mediator
Email: Ed Buckner

Ed Buckner is a business and divorce mediator in the Boston area. He is a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and the N.E. Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution. Drawing from his experience in private practice and his work with the Massachusetts probate courts, Ed understands the importance of creating a safe environment and validating multiple perspectives while helping the parties find common ground and come to a resolution of their own making. While divorce is not easy, it is possible to help divorcing couples move forward with their lives while minimizing the emotional and financial challenges to the entire family.

Ed has over 30 years of experience in diverse business areas that complement his mediation skills. Prior to serving as a mediator, Ed was an expert in structuring complex business transactions and was involved in numerous complex international multiparty negotiations. His diverse business background in real estate investment and development, insurance and estate planning, allow Ed to be well versed on many of the issues that impact divorcing families.

Ed enjoys time with his family, including his dog and cats, is an avid bike rider and Red Sox fan.


David H. Goodman, CPA/ABV/CFF,CVA
Email: David Goodman

David Goodman is a Certified Pubic Accountant, admitted as an expert in business valuation and forensic accounting in the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Middlesex County and a court-appointed forensic accounting expert in Suffolk County.

He is a regular presenter on “Selected Tax Matters in Divorce” and “Do I Need to Have the Business Valued?” to professional associations as well as the courts. His professional affiliations include: Chair (2010-present), MSCPA Litigation Consulting and Business Valuation Committee and President (2012 – 2013), NACVA- Mass Chapter. His specialties include: Business valuation, litigation support, divorce services including complex tax issues, forensic accounting, income tax preparation for individuals, businesses and trusts. David has also completed Collaborative Practice Training.

A former Board member of The Divorce Center, David often commutes to work on his bicycle and can be found wandering his neighborhood with his pet cat Baboo.

Steven Ballard

Steven Ballard, Attorney

Email: Steven Ballard

Steven Ballard is an attorney who represents individuals in the family courts of Greater Boston, often in challenging,high-conflict cases, most of which ultimately lead to negotiated settlements. Some of his high-conflict cases do need to go to trial, and he conducts several multi-day trials in a typical year, as either solo or lead counsel. His practice, however, offers a wide range of options, including collaborative divorce, interest-based settlement negotiations outside of court, un-bundled legal services through the “limited assistance representation” program, full representation in family court litigation as necessary through trial, and appellate advocacy in the higher courts.

Steven proudly volunteers his services in court-connected mediation and court-connected conciliation, and as Lawyer for the Day in the family courts of Greater Boston. He has been quoted in recent years in the media on divorce law issues, including in the Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal. Steven is a member of many professional organizations. He has presented workshops at regional and national conferences on issues of shared parenting and child support, and on mediation and conciliation, and is a faculty member of the “Divorce Matters” workshops offered by The Divorce Center. Steven also serves on his town’s Finance Committee.

When not busy in these professional and volunteer activities, Steven will usually be found at home or traveling with his family.


Paul Blatchford, Vocational Consultant
Dan Finn, Esquire
Donna Marsella, CDFA
Theodore Orenstein, Esquire
Beth Ross, MSW, LICSW
David Seaquist, Ph.D., Psychotherapist
Jeanne Seaquist, Copy Editor
Renee Senes, CDFA
Karen Van Kooy, Esquire