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Attorney Amy Beth Baron

Baron Law & Mediation
Experience:  13 Years
Area Served: Greater Boston North Shore

800 Turnpike Street
Suite 300
North Andover, MA, 01845


Attorney Message

I am an attorney, mediator and registered nurse.  My family mediation and law practice includes the areas of divorce (pre-during-post), modification, custody, guardianships and elder care.  I invite you to contact me directly with any questions regarding your divorce or family law related issue.

Areas of Practice

Summary

Verification- Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

  • Last verified: 8/09/2012
  • Current status is Active
  • This attorney has no record of public discipline.
  • This attorney has certified that he or she is covered by professional liability insurance.

 

Education

Massachusetts School of Law, J.D.
Simmons College, B.S.

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts, 2001

Professional Associations

Massachusetts Bar Association
Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM)

About Me

About Amy Beth Baron

Amy is a lifelong resident of Massachusetts and product of the Melrose school system and Simmons College Nursing program. Amy received her law school education from the Massachusetts School of Law, where she majored in litigation and has been admitted to the Massachusetts Bar since 2001. While at the Massachusetts School of Law, she was a participating member of the Law Review. She had the privilege of interning for a Justice in the Essex County Superior Court in Lawrence, Massachusetts and also interned with the Essex County District Court in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Amy has had unique background in both the health care field and public service. In the healthcare field for over 18 years in a variety of positions and roles including acute care specializing in orthopedic and multiple trauma cases, infection control, workers compensation, employee health and home care. Amy served as a financial and nurse investigator for the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Business and Labor Protection Bureau. She investigated alleged patient abuse, neglect and mistreatment issues as well as cases involving provider fraud on the Medicaid system. She focused her efforts primarily in patient abuse cases, requiring extensive record review, creation of time line chronologies, identification of causes of action and participation in trial proceedings.

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Q&A

Legal Questions & Answers


A:
In Massachusetts, custody includes two parts, those being legal and physical. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions regarding the child including medical, educational and religious. Legal custody can be sole or shared. If you agree, as most parents do, that you are both good parents, then shared legal custody is appropriate. Physical custody is where the children will reside and who (which parent) will have the ultimate say in respect to their day to day life and schedule. In relation to physical custody, you may be considering a traditional parenting schedule where the children would reside with one parent while the other parent interacts with the children on a limited basis such as: once during the week and every other weekend. This is considered a sole or primary physical custody situation. If the children will have 2 homes (home with one parent and home with the other parent) and each parent will have “somewhat equal” parenting time, then a shared arrangement or shared physical custody as it would be referred to may be appropriate. This shared arrangement requires much cooperation between the parents and approval by the court.




A:
The mediation process is voluntary, parties keep control, trained mediator facilitates process, resolution is flexible, and care is taken to preserve family relationship, win-win approach. Almost any situation short of violence benefits from mediation. At the very least, the parties with the help of a trained mediator will have their story and concerns fully heard by all involved; and potential resolution options will be aired and discussed. At best the matter will be resolved in a long lasting and acceptable way. A good mediator is respectful, open, neutral, patient, calm, and skilled in active listening and option generating techniques, has knowledge of or is able to understand and incorporate knowledge of the underlying problem.




A:
A couple of options. Your best bet is finding a “neutral” party trained in both mediation and the underlying health and financial issues involved. An “elder law mediator” is trained to listen to all the parties, help them identify their issues, goals and concerns, assist them in generating options and provide them guidance on how they can properly examine and determine which option(s) would work best in their situation. Elder mediators also teach the parties how to move through future disagreements hopefully without the need for court intervention. If mediation does not work there is always an option to hire attorneys. Do your homework to make sure the Mediator or Elder Law Attorney will provide you with the services and approach that you want. This is your family. What is in the best interest of your elderly parents is at the heart of the matter but also equally important is how your relationship with your siblings will be preserved as you move into the future. Good luck to you.




A:
Most mediation begins with an explanation of the characteristics of mediation, the process from beginning to end, the ground rules and consent from the participants that they wish to voluntarily take part. The next stage is usually a joint session where each party, one at a time, has the opportunity to be fully heard without interruption as to their reasons for being in mediation, their initial positions and concerns. The process goes no further until each party is satisfied they have been heard by all present. The mediator will then attempt to formulate with the parties their concerns, questions and common areas of interest to create a “mission statement” of sorts to move through the process. The mediator will then use joint and / or private sessions to fully understand the factual aspects of the issues that are being mediated. Once these ‘fact finding” sessions are completed, the mediator and parties will move to a resolution phase using the mission statement, common interests and facts gleaned by the mediator and parties to generate options for resolution which will be examined and modified by the parties until an acceptable arrangement is reached. The mediator and the parties will then reduce the agreement to writing. Finally depending on the type of mediation, the agreement will be reviewed by the individual’s expert for final changes or approval.




A:
In Massachusetts, custody includes two parts, those being legal and physical. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions regarding the child including medical, educational and religious. Legal custody can be sole or shared. If you agree, as most parents do, that you are both good parents, then shared legal custody is appropriate. Physical custody is where the children will reside and who (which parent) will have the ultimate say in respect to their day to day life and schedule. In relation to physical custody, you may be considering a traditional parenting schedule where the children would reside with one parent while the other parent interacts with the children on a limited basis such as: once during the week and every other weekend. This is considered a sole or primary physical custody situation. If the children will have 2 homes (home with one parent and home with the other parent) and each parent will have “somewhat equal” parenting time, then a shared arrangement or shared physical custody as it would be referred to may be appropriate. This shared arrangement requires much cooperation between the parents and approval by the court.




A:
In Massachusetts, parties have three approaches to move through divorce. The traditional method involves you each being represented by an attorney and moving through the court litigation process. The second method is one in which you and you Husband may agree to a Collaborative Law approach where you are still represented by attorneys but the attorneys agree in advance not to go to court and have been trained to resolve the matter in a collaborative manner. The third option is mediation where a neutral third party helps you both make the necessary decisions to come to an agreement with the help of legal and financial professionals outside the mediation session. If you marriage is short in duration, the court is more likely to return the parties to the position they were in at the beginning of the marriage. The longer the marriage the less likely that will happen and the marriage will be looked at as a partnership. In the case of a short marriage you would suggest the gift was made to you and you alone and should be returned to you before the asset is divided. Your Husband may suggest the gift was made to both of you and therefore it should be divided equally. Testimony from your parents, the check itself, how it was made out, whether any gift letters were signed by your parents in regard to your mortgage application is all relevant. This is a good example of the many issues of divorce without specific rules or answers. As part of your strategy, consider the expense of an attorney to get in front of a judge to argue the point and possible alternative ways as mentioned above, to resolve this.




A:
We've helped many couples through the divorce process and mediation is often the best solution for couples in your type of situation. Please feel free to contact us to schedule a free initial consultaiton and learn more about the options available to you. All the best. Amy Baron



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Locations Served

Attorney Amy Baron serves the Greater Boston region including Essex County and Middlesex County and the cities and towns of Andover, Beverly, Billerica, Boxford, Burlington, Chelmsford, Danvers, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groveland, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Melrose, Methuen, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, North Reading, Peabody, Reading, Salem, Saugus, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Wakefield, Wrentham, and Wilmington, Massachusetts.


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