Guide to Professionals

Welcome to our Guide to Professionals. Here you will find a network of professional services to help you through your divorce.

There are two ways to search – by category or by keyword. Category will give you all resources in that area of expertise. Keywords will return all professionals that match. For example, if your keyword is Brookline, it will return all professionals in Brookline, MA.

** Denotes Collaboratively Trained Professional

Joanna Bunker Rohrbaugh Ph.D. **

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Rohrbaugh Associates Home 192R Upland Road Cambridge MA 02140 Counties served: Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk Phone: (617) 876-6110 Fax: (617) 441-0565 Website: http://www.rohrbaughassociates.net
About

Dr. Rohrbaugh is a Harvard clinical and forensic psychologist providing consultation and divorce coaching in collaborative law cases as well as litigation support, expert witness testimony and evaluations in child custody cases. She is a trauma specialist who served on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School for over 30 years, and has three decades of experience providing nationwide consultation, training, and court testimony regarding adoption, attachment and bonding, care and protection, child abuse and neglect, custody and visitation, de facto parents, domestic violence, parental alienation, PTSD, relocation, sexual abuse and harassment, social science research and psychotherapy, and termination of parental rights.

In her psychotherapy practice, Dr. Rohrbaugh specializes in survivors of trauma, alternative families, divorce, parenting, and problems surrounding sexuality. Licensed in both MA and NH, Dr. Rohrbaugh is the author of the highly acclaimed “Guide to Child Custody Evaluations: Mental Health and Legal Perspectives”; NY: Springer, 2008.

See Dr. Rohrbaugh’s website for more information about her training, experience, publications, and approach to divorcing families.

Beth H. Ross MSW, LICSW **

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Clinical Social Worker/Therapist/Divorce Mediator/Collaborative Coach Mending Fences Institute Address 866 Washington Street Canton MA 02021 Phone: (781) 821-4606 Mobile: (781) 249-2156 Fax: (781) 821-4606 Website: mendingfencesinstitute.org
About

As founder of the Mending Fences Institute, Beth is dedicated to guiding families through divorce, reunification and other conflicts through coaching, mediation, and therapy. With over 25 years of experience, she brings practical solutions and emotional healing to each case. Beth is adept at handling complex family dynamics such as divorce, trauma, relationship issues, learning disabilities, transitions or reunification. Her goal is to help families make the transition from couples with children to co-parents who communicate well and share time with their children. Her success is augmented by her extensive experience working with children and teens.

She is a certified Collaborative Coach, mediator, and therapist. She is a member of the International Collaborative Law Council, Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council (MCLC), and Southeastern Collaborative Law practice group. She is a member of the Mass Council on Family Mediation. She consults with schools, hospitals, lawyers, the courts, and doctors on complex issues such as divorce, alienation, learning disability, life transition and behavioral issues.

She uses eclectic therapeutic modalities such as family system theory, individual play therapy, CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), and empowerment strategies with a focus on practical solutions that improve the lives of her clients.

A former board member of the Divorce Center, she is an instructor for the court-mandated Parents Apart course and a member of the Southeastern Collaborative Practice Group, Beth guides families through evaluating the situation, understanding all parties’ perspectives, establishing ground rules for communication, and generating goals.

 

Julia Rueschemeyer Esq. **

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Attorney and Mediator Attorney Julia Rueschemeyer Divorce Mediation Address 75 Market St. 3rd Floor Springfield MA 01103 Counties served: Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, Berkshire, and Worcester Phone: (413) 885-9338 Website: http://www.amherstdivorce.com
About

Getting divorced and resolving family law issues involves transitions that are not easy. I am an experienced divorce mediator and family lawyer, and I will guide you through these transitions with compassion, treating you and your concerns with respect. We will work together, one issue at a time, to create solutions that work for you and your family and ensure that the focus stays on the healthiest process and outcome for you and your children.

I use only non-adversarial processes—mediation and collaborative law divorce—which emphasize open, respectful communication. These methods of reaching agreements avoid the high costs, delays, and interpersonal conflict and stress that are typical of litigation through the courts.

I have been practicing divorce law and mediation full time in Massachusetts since 2003. Before moving to Massachusetts, I was Staff Attorney at the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law in Los Angeles, and I served as Director of the Feinstein Institute for Legal Service at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island. I have been admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania, California, New York, and Massachusetts. I received my BA from Brown University and my law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Thomas E. Seder CFP®, CDFA™ **

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Divorce Financial Consultant and Mediator Address 18 Winslow Road Belmont MA 02478 Counties served: Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk Phone: (617) 484-0871
About

Tom is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ and fee-only financial planner, guiding his clients through the financial complexities of divorce. He is also a trained Divorce Mediator. He works closely with his clients to gather all relevant financial data, analyze settlement scenarios and their tax and long-term lifestyle implications, and present this information to clients with simplicity and clarity.

This holistic approach ensures that many other factors are considered in the planning process, including college funding, insurance needs, budgeting post-divorce, investing, retirement, and long-term care.

During his career as a Financial Advisor for a large brokerage house, Tom was struck by the particular financial hurdles which divorcing clients face and decided to specialize in the area of divorce planning. His own divorce experience makes him committed to exploring practical resolutions which are in the client’s best interest.

Tom graduated from Harvard magna cum laude with a BA in Psychology and Social Relations. He has completed the Financial Planning program at Boston University. He is a past Treasurer of The Divorce Center and is a member of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, Financial Planning Association, and Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation.

Renee W. Senes CDFA™**

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Senes & Chwalek Financial Advisors Address 152 East Bare Hill Road Harvard MA 01451 Address 81 Middle Street Concord MA 01742 Phone: (978) 456-9600 Fax: (978) 369-2267 Website: www.senesandchwalek.com
About

Senes & Chwalek offers investments, portfolio management, retirement planning, college planning and insurance to help individuals, families and business owners achieve their financial goals. Our offices are in Harvard and Concord.

Renee is also a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), a financial neutral and a trained mediator. She specializes in working with clients, their attorneys or mediators through all phases of the divorce process to help them gather and compile financial information, compare and contrast scenarios of possible settlements, and grasp the impact of the various options both now and for their future well-being. Having gone through a divorce herself, Renee’s desire is to help her clients understand and manage the financial issues so they can look forward to a stable future and comfort and competence dealing with money.

A frequent lecturer, Renee covers topics including:

  • Maximizing Social Security
  • Money and Divorce
  • Retirement Planning for Small Business Owners
  • Powerful Retirement Strategies for Women
  • Divorce Matters

Renee is an active member of her community serving on the Board of the Divorce Center, and the Steering Committees of the Women’s Business Network and MWCoC Professional Women’s Network. She is a consultant to the Special Educational Surrogate Parent Program.

A former teacher, Renee enjoys educating her clients and encouraging them to be active participants in their financial futures.

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Voya Financial Advisors, member SIPC Senes & Chwalek Financial Advisors is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by Voya Financial Advisors, Inc.

Barbara Shapiro EdM2, MSF, CFP, CFS, CMC, CDFA™, CeFT

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President HMS Financial Group Address 333 Elm Street Suite 210 Dedham MA 02026 Phone: (781) 251-2655 Fax: (781) 251-2656 Website: www.bshapiro-cdfa.com
About

Barbara Shapiro is president of HMS Financial Group, a full-service investment and financial planning firm. Currently, she serves as the chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA) and is a former treasurer of The Divorce Center.

She co-authored the book “He Said, She Said” with her late husband, Herb. She has developed and taught courses on financial planning and investments. She has lectured nationally on divorce financial analysis, investing, long-term care insurance, and divorce planning. Barbara’s expertise on women and finance has been seen on New England Cable News’ “Business Day” program, as well as Fox TV News. As a highly respected  professional in her field, Barbara has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and written articles for Kiplinger, Market Watch, ThinkAdvisor and The American Journal of Family Law which can all be found on her website.

Barbara’s degrees include Master of Education in Counseling, Master of Education in Moderate Special Needs with an additional Severe Special Need Certification and Master of Science in Finance. She also recently received her CeFT certification, which specifically helps people going through transition.

Securities offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Barbara Shapiro, a Massachusetts Registered Investment Advisor. Barbara Shapiro, HMS Financial Group and Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. are separate entities.

Vicki L. Shemin J.D., LICSW, ACSW **

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Partner Fields and Dennis, LLP Address 80 William Street Suite 210 Wellesley MA 02481 Phone: (781) 489-6776 Fax: (781) 489-6233 Website: www.FieldsDennis.com
About

With her dual-degree in clinical social work and family law, and more than 35 years of professional experience, Attorney Shemin brings a “best of both worlds approach” to helping clients resolve matters outside of court. These dispute resolution options include mediation, collaborative law, parenting coordination, divorce consultation and coaching, settlement negotiations, guardian ad litem evaluative opinions, premarital and postnuptial agreements – and she even has a subspecialization in handling cases for those interested in working on “agreements to stay married.” With her extensive background in child development and her knowledge and understanding of the psychodynamics of divorce, she is exceptionally well-equipped to assist transitioning families with developing optimal co-parenting plans, telling children about divorce, and handling inevitable disagreements that parents will face long after the ink is dry on their divorce agreements.

Attorney Shemin is the Vice-President of Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and is also credentialed as a certified family law mediator by that organization (a highly selective recognition). For the past 2 years, she has been recognized as one of the “Top Ten Family Lawyers in Massachusetts” as well as a “Top Rated Lawyer: Women Leaders in the Law.” In 2015, she was recognized among “Boston’s Top Rated Lawyers” in 3 distinct categories – Alternative Dispute Resolution, Family Law and Mediation, and Collaborative Law. She has earned a 10.0 “excellent” AVVO rating. Attorney Shemin is also credentialed as a Nationally Certified Parenting Coordinator. She has met all the requirements for and has been approved for inclusion on, the Category V Parenting Coordinator fee-generating appointment list for the Probate and Family Courts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She is also a Board Member and Founding Member of the national organization, Academy of Professional Family Mediators.

Heather J. Smethurst Esq. **

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Smethurst Law, LLC Address 79 Turnpike Rd. Suite 1, 2nd Floor Ipswich MA 01938 Counties served: Essex, Middlesex, and Southern NH Phone: (978) 356-6100 Fax: (978) 560-0644 Website: www.smethurstlaw.com
About

Heather J. Smethurst is a family law attorney practicing in Essex and Middlesex Counties in Massachusetts and in Southern New Hampshire, is trained in Collaborative Law, Mediation, was a social worker prior to her legal career, is a court appointed conciliator and Attorney Representing Children through the Essex Probate Court, Limited Appearance Representation and is a Guardian ad Litem.

Attorney Smethurst believes strongly that most cases are best handled through Mediation or the Collaborative Law process. A family law matter is arguably the most stressful time in a person’s life and having an advocate that is committed to resolving your case with the best possible outcome for your family is a must. Attorney Smethurst feels strongly that children must be the first priority in any family law matter and will work with you to help transition your family to the next phase of your lives.

Debra L. Smith Esq. **

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Address 134 Main Street Watertown MA 02472 Phone: (617) 924-6728 Fax: (617) 924-6797 Website: www.lawdebsmith.com
About

Attorney Debra L. Smith provides personalized legal services with a concentration in family and juvenile law, including divorce (issues such as alimony, child support, parenting plans and division of marital assets), paternity, adoption, modification, and care and protection matters. Her focus is to save clients money by resolving matters cooperatively whenever possible. She believes that her clients are best served by attempting to seek resolution of a matter without going to trial. Her preferred approach is to act as a collaborative attorney using a team approach with a collaborative coach and financial professional. She has been successful in reaching an amicable settlement in many disputes in over 32 years of law practice. However, in rare cases if the matter does not settle, she has substantial litigation experience.

Ms. Smith also serves as a mediator to help couples resolve their family law matter in a respectful and amicable way in the private setting in her office.  Ms. Smith has been an adjunct professor for Suffolk University. She has lectured for The Divorce Center, Inc., Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, Inc. and Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, Inc.

Lisa J. Smith Esq. **

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Collaborative Attorney and Mediator Lisa J. Smith Attorney at Law Address 220 North Main Street Suite 301 Natick MA 01760 Counties served: Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk & Worcester Phone: (508) 653-0119 Fax: (508) 652-0011 Website: www.FamilyLawChoices.com
About

Lisa offers her clients options to resolve divorces amicably and with dignity. With Lisa’s assistance, you and your spouse will make the important decisions about your finances and your family within a timeframe that works well for both of you. All settlement discussions are private. Lisa’s approach to divorce is to view it as a process to move you towards new goals-not just to end a marriage.

You may schedule a first meeting on your own or with your spouse. During the first meeting, Lisa will explain the process options which may be available. Lisa helps clients with issues including divorce, child support, alimony, parenting plans, paternity and mediation to stay married matters.

Lisa is an experienced collaborative attorney and divorce mediator. She is a past president of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council (M.C.L.C.) and has chaired many state-wide committees in this field. Based on Lisa’s skill, education and experience, the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (M.C.F.M.) has distinguished Lisa as one of the approximately 30 professionals in Massachusetts to be a Certified Divorce Mediator.

Alicia Southwell LICSW **

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Home 83 Loring Road 1/2 mile from intersection of Rte. 128 & Mass Pike Weston MA 02493 Counties served: Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Plymouth Phone: (781) 718-0573
About

Alicia Southwell is a psychotherapist who works with individuals, couples and families at her home office in Weston. Alicia runs two ongoing support called “Women in Separation and Divorce.” The groups are for women in all stages of the divorce process, from contemplation through post-divorce. The groups take place on Mondays from 7-8:30 PM and Thursdays from 7-8:30 PM.

You are not alone in this, one of life’s most stressful and challenging transitions. If you are contemplating or navigating the divorce process, you may find that you are experiencing what can feel like an overwhelming range of emotions. Sharing your experience with others who are going through something similar can greatly reduce feelings of isolation, fear, confusion, sadness, anger, guilt, and shame, among others.

Divorce involves the loss of the dreams and the life that you had at one time imagined for yourself. These losses need to be mourned in order to successfully put the past in the past, get beyond the divorce, and move forward into your preferred life. This difficult period of ending also offers life-changing opportunities for new beginnings, personal growth, and getting the life you want for yourself.

Please call or email for more information or to set up a no-fee consultation, which is required before joining the group.

Susan D. Stamps Esq. **

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Attorney Law Offices of Susan D. Stamps Address 9 Damonmill Square Suite 5D Concord MA 01742 Phone: (978) 371-3131 Fax: (978) 371-2378 Website: www.stamps-law.com
About

Attorney Stamps has over 25 years experience in family law and specializes in complex custody, financial and tax matters. Her firm offers litigation, mediation, and collaborative law services to clients in divorce and post-divorce matters. They also offer prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements as well as Guardian ad Litem and parent coordinator services. Call or email for a free consultation.

Linda Sternberg Esq. **

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Sternberg Law Address 10 Tremont Street Suite 200 Boston MA 02108-2008 Counties served: Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, Essex, Worcester, Plymouth Phone: (617) 722-8300 Fax: (617) 722-8350 Website: www.SternbergLaw.com
About

Attorney Linda Sternberg has practiced family law in the greater Boston area for more than 30 years. Linda is a collaborative practitioner, mediator and litigator in all aspects of family law. Her areas of expertise and experience include divorce, paternity, child support, alimony/spousal support, custody and parenting plans, guardianships and conservatorships, modifications and contempt actions. Attorney Sternberg serves as a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem and also as an attorney for children. Attorney Sternberg is devoted to helping families resolve their disputes as amicably as possible using her wealth of experience, strong advocacy, empathy, compassion and sense of humor. For more information, see http://www.SternbergLaw.com.

Marcia E. Tannenbaum Esq. **

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Attorney – Mediator – Collaborative lawyer Solutions Through Mediation Address 57 Brownell Street Worcester MA 01602-3321 Counties served: Worcester, all of MA for mediation Phone: (508) 798-4090 Fax: (508) 753-5840 Website: solutionsthroughmediation.com
About

Mediation and Collaborative Process are paths to peace between parties. By providing a safe space in which conflict can be addressed and options explored, I give my clients the very best opportunity to heal and grow. Shared Parenting and other workable approaches to divorce with children, minimize the damage that divorce can create in the lives of all family members.

When non-adversarial approaches are untenable, I provide compassionate and experienced litigation and settlement representation.

Doris F. Tennant Esq. **

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Tennant Lubell, LLC Address 288 Walnut Street Suite 500 Newton MA 02460 Counties served: Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex Phone: (617) 969-9610 Fax: (617) 969-9611 Website: www.tllawgroup.com
About

Doris Tennant specializes in divorce settlements that spare parents and children the emotional toll of court contested cases. Facilitating the resolution of divorces through either the Collaborative Law process, mediation, negotiation, or arbitration, she concentrates on helping achieve reasonable and realistic agreements without a judge imposing a solution. Contact Doris for a 20-minute telephone consultation at no charge, or schedule an in-person substantive consultation with her for 75 minutes at a reduced rate.

Lauren D. Toli **

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Financial Advisor Balance Wealth Advisor Address 60 Walnut Street Suite 101A Wellesley MA 02148 Phone: (781) 772-2480 Website: www.balancewealthadvisor.com
About

Lauren Toli follows a simple guiding principle when working with clients: she won’t give anyone advice that she wouldn’t give to her own family. Her motivation is to help people weather the “crisis” and create a financial stability.

Karen Van Kooy Esq. **

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Israel, Van Kooy & Days, LLC Home 1318 Beacon Street Suite 19 Brookline MA 02446 Counties served: Norfolk Phone: (617) 277-3774 Fax: (617) 277-6520 Website: www.ivkdlaw.com Blog: www.yourfamilymatterslawblog.com
About

Karen Van Kooy is a partner at Israel, Van Kooy & Days, LLC located in Coolidge Corner, Brookline. Karen represents women and men in all stages of family transitions, including divorce, custody, child support and post-divorce matters. Karen also works with people to create fair and loving pre and post-nuptial agreements to strengthen their marriage. Central to Karen’s approach in domestic relations matter is to attend to the immediate needs of a client, whose life may be in upheaval while assisting the client in defining the big picture: life after the transition. Finding the right process for each situation, whether it is litigation, mediation or the collaborative law process is an essential first step, and Karen is trained and practices all three approaches. Karen is the chairperson of the Parents Apart program and a former board member of the Divorce Center.

Marion Lee Wasserman Esq. **

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Attorney/ Mediator Reach Accord Law and Mediation Services Address 189 Wells Avenue Third Floor Newton MA 02459 Counties served: Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Worcester Phone: (781) 449-4815 Fax: (781) 433-0405 Website: www.reachaccord.com
About

Attorney Marion Lee Wasserman emphasizes dispute resolution, not dispute escalation. In addition to mediation and collaborative law, she offers traditional legal representation emphasizing negotiated settlement. Marion has a special interest in divorce and parent-child issues, including the structuring of parenting plans and including financially complex divorces. She is a former Vice President of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and formerly served on the MCFM Board of Directors.

Areas of practice: divorce, post-divorce, custody, parenting plans, temporary separation, prenuptial agreements, relationship agreements.

Kim U. Whelan CDFA™

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Mediator, CDFA™ Kim Whelan Mediation Address 60 Austin Street, Suite 210 Newton MA 02460 Counties served: Norfolk, Middlesex, Suffolk, Plymouth Phone: (617) 581-0747 Website: kimwhelanmediation.com
About

Kim helps families navigate the often complex divorce process in a more productive way. Through compassion, financial savvy, and a deep commitment to mediation, she strives to preserve each party’s emotional and financial integrity for life going forward.

Kim’s MBA, CDFA™, and business experience provides her with the financial expertise to help you navigate the financial maze divorce presents. She can translate these complex decisions into plain terms, allowing each party to fully understand the options available. With years of extensive training and staying current on developments in family law, divorce financial analysis, and mediation, Kim brings a wealth of experience and a good dose of common sense to this often emotional and stressful time of life.

Kim appreciates how difficult separating a family can be – being divorced herself – but she also brings optimism to the process having seen people survive and flourish after working together through mediation. When each parent can focus on what matters for them, each other, and their family, the sound decisions resulting from mediation enable everyone to build a better emotional and financial foundation for the future.

Fran L. Whyman Esq. **

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Whyman Law and Mediation Home 220 North Main Street Suite 301 Natick MA 01760 Counties: Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Worcester, Essex Phone: (508) 655-0700 Fax: (508) 653-0019 Website: WhymanLawandMediation.com
About

Fran Whyman devotes her family law practice, Whyman Law and Mediation, to helping clients reach out-of-court settlement of their family law matters in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. Fran uses mediation,
collaborative law, and negotiation to facilitate resolution of areas requiring resolution in a divorce, including, for example, parenting plans, child support, alimony, asset division, health insurance and college expenses. She uses marital mediation to assist couples in their efforts to reach agreements that will help them in their efforts to stay married.

Based on her experience and knowledge in the field of family law mediation, Fran is one of approximately 35 mediators in Massachusetts who has been awarded certification status by the Massachusetts Council
on Family Mediation.

Fran is the former President of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM), and a current
Executive Board Member of MCFM. She is a member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council.