My Story

Getting started with Kim Whelan Mediation was not easy. After having a 20-year marriage, an eclectic business career, and two teenage boys, I found myself getting divorced.

It wasn’t the worst divorce, and it wasn’t the best. When it was over, however, people asked me how I weathered the challenges when they saw that my kids and I were doing well.

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Being Inspired

I heard a range of stories from other divorcing people, including my close female friends and male acquaintances. Same-sex couples, parents with young or grown-up children, and those with various economic backgrounds all inspired me as well.

Regardless of the differences among the separating parties, one thing was clear: divorce is hard. This was why I chose to become a mediator, as it just seemed like a much better way to “do” divorce.

The Road to Mediation

Too often, I saw smart, caring people giving into the “mine” mentality, simply because they could not communicate calmly and effectively with their spouse. I had been down a version of that path myself.

Mediation seemed to be the one detour off of the “bad divorce” road. I then trained extensively in the process of mediation because I saw the power of facilitated, interest-based negotiation—particularly when dealing with the charged emotional and legal issues of divorce.

Working With Financial Analyses

I often saw people making important financial decisions during divorce without understanding the ramifications. After becoming proficient in mediation, I decided to achieve the CDFA® designation. My certification brings another level of security and calm to the mediation table.

I analyze the financial data to foster better-informed decisions, ultimately making the divorce process more productive. Knowing there are several ways to “crunch the numbers” to present different outcomes allows clients to make the best choices for themselves and their families.

Starting My Consulting Services

My divorce consulting services bring me back to where I started—helping people learn what they don’t know at the beginning of the divorce process. My full view of the divorce landscape enables me to educate clients about what lies ahead.

I then help my clients develop their strategy for navigating this daunting life change. Through education, support, and connecting clients to the right professionals, I offer an invaluable service to those who need to be confidently prepared.

What Sets Me Apart

My unique combination of IQ and EQ brings focus to what is the most realistic and peaceful options for the parties involved.

Optimism and Practicality

Being a divorced person myself, I appreciate that this phase is emotionally difficult. However, my process is grounded in heartfelt hope because I have seen people survive and flourish post-divorce.

Skill With Numbers

So many of the issues related to divorce involve money. I help clients make sense of their financial options to drive good decision-making, whether they are savvy or relatively uninformed about family finances. The financial data are presented in a non-overwhelming manner so clients can make calm, informed decisions.

Keeping You at Your Best

I see the power of facilitated interest-based negotiation, and I know it works when clients are “in it together” despite getting divorced. Having worked with many personalities, I know how to read where each party is coming from so I can help them find common ground.

Continuous Education

I am always pursuing additional training on family law, divorce financial analysis, parenting through divorce, and alternative dispute resolution processes, including mediation and collaborative law. With constant changes in all these areas, I need to be well-informed to improve my practice and best serve my clients.

Education, Training, and Affiliations

Education

  • Harvard Business School, MBA, 1984
  • Middlebury College, BA, 1979

Divorce Mediation Training

  • MWI, Boston, MA
  • Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC), Cambridge, MA
  • Divorce Mediation Training Associates (DMTA), Watertown, MA

Divorce Financial Analysis Training

  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Program, Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts

Collaborative Law Training

  • Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law Training, Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council

Mediation and Negotiation Training

  • Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation (Cambridge, MA)
    • Seminar on Mediation and Conflict Management
    • Seminar on Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
  • MWI (Boston, MA)
    • Forty-Hour Executive Mediation Training
    • Negotiation Skills Workshop
    • Train the Trainer Institute
  • Community Dispute Settlement Center Facilitation Skills for Mediators Workshop (Cambridge, MA)

Volunteer Mediation Panels

  • Norfolk Probate and Family Court Mediation Project
  • CDSC Divorce Panel
  • MWI Small Claims and Summary Process
  • Role Play Coach at CDSC, Harvard Law School PON, Suffolk Law School

Professional Organizations

  • Board Member and Treasurer, Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation (MCFM)
  • Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council (MCLC)
  • Association of Professional Family Mediators (APFM)
  • National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP)
  • The Divorce Center, Waltham, MA
  • New England Chapter Association for Conflict Resolution (NE ACR)

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