Mediation vs Lawyer Negotiated vs Litigation

Emery’s Twelve year study illustrating the effectiveness of agreements reached in divorce mediation vs lawyer negotiated agreements vs litigated/court ordered terms.

Huffington Post Divorce

Up to the minute separation and divorce trends, blogs, celebrity divorces and articles all related to the what’s the latest thinking re: separation and divorce.

Tools for Separated and Divorced Parents

Here are some links to Apps and Websites that assist parents in scheduling time with children, vacations, holidays keeping track of kids’ activities, expenses, parent communication, etc. Some of these tools are free, others charge a small fee.

Susan was very helpful and knew how to put two people at ease. The legal paperwork that looked overwhelming to us she walked us through without making us feel belittled. I would recommend Susan in a heartbeat. Thank you Susan!
Former Client

About Mediation

The mediation process is designed to make sure each person feels heard and understood. My job is to work as an impartial third party.

Each party is encouraged to ask questions and to talk about what is most important to them. My goal is to help the parties reach fair and mutually acceptable agreements.

Clients often tell me they are overwhelmed by the legal process, and sometimes by all the decisions they are required to make.

I give my clients information about the legal process, helping them to understand the procedures, thus making it all seem less daunting.

My clients know they have a caring professional working with them through each step of the way, from separation up to the final agreement.

Professional Background

From 1998 to 2008, I was the Program Director/Manager of the Vermont Family Court Mediation Program (VFCMP), a statewide program of the judiciary. In this capacity among other things, I provided training and case consultation for the Mediators and Parent Coordinators contracted with the VFCMP, routinely met with and worked closely with judges and court staff throughout Vermont, attended Family Court (Family Division) Oversight Committee meetings and testified before the State of Vermont Legislative Judiciary Committee.

Throughout the last 30+ years, I have participated in several boards: Franklin County’s Court Diversion review panel, Laurie’s House (Franklin County’s domestic violence shelter and program), Vermont Mediators Association, and a member of the Professional Responsibility Board.


I work cooperatively with my clients throughout this process. I speak with each client confidentially prior to the first session.

I schedule between 1 1/2 – 2 hours for each session. I charge by the hour and payment is due at the end of each session.

For a complete divorce, (from beginning to end) most couples meet with me between 3 and 6 times depending upon how complicated their finances, how volatile their emotions, and how able or motivated they are to do some work together outside of the sessions.

Upon request, I provide my clients with a list of “mediation friendly” attorneys. If my clients are represented, and upon request, I may communicate with the attorneys on occasion either between sessions or once a final agreement is drafted.

I also work with clients who choose not to consult with attorneys.

Why Choose Susan?

My experience working with the judiciary for 10 years give me an insider’s view of the legal system. This knowledge and insight I bring to my mediation practice.

Having personally experienced divorce many years ago, I truly understand what my clients are facing.

Because I’ve been doing this work for over 30+ years, this makes me one of the most accomplished and experienced separation and divorce mediators in the state of Vermont.


I have attended and received over 3,500 hours training specific to family and divorce law, divorce and it’s effect on families and children, finances and divorce, tax law related to divorce, child development, substance abuse and domestic violence.
Susan Fay

Susan Fay


About Susan

I have mediated over 4,000 separation and divorce related cases in over 30+ years of practice.

Areas of Practice

  • Parental Rights and Responsibilities, Custody, Parenting Agreements
  • Financial distribution / Debt
  • Blended Families/ Step- Families
  • LGBTQ Families
  • Parentage/ Never married parents