Your Decisions Create Your Future

Effective, caring, and insightful, Patrice Brymner brings a great depth of knowledge and experience to her work with divorcing spouses. Whether she’s representing an individual in a Collaborative Divorce or facilitating as a neutral in Divorce Mediation, she strives to educate her clients toward informed decision making, based on their specific needs, interests and goals.

woman looking out window

Your Decisions Create Your Future

woman looking out window

Effective, caring, and insightful, Patrice Brymner brings a great depth of knowledge and experience to her work with divorcing spouses. Whether she’s representing an individual in a Collaborative Divorce or facilitating as a neutral in Divorce Mediation, she strives to educate her clients toward informed decision making, based on their specific needs, interests and goals.


About Attorney Patrice Brymner

With over 20 years of experience, Patrice is a leader in the Massachusetts family law dispute resolution community. She is committed to providing process options that favor openness and hopeful participation. Her work fosters effective communication and favors validation through the recognition of shared dignity over validation through “winning.”

Patrice is a Past President of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council (MCLC), and currently serves on the MCLC Board and as Chair of Outreach. She has led advanced training workshops on various practice skills topics, such as Best Practices for Virtual Mediation/Collaborative Practice, The Role of Dignity in Dispute Resolution, and The Reality and Challenges of Addiction in Divorce Cases.

My Approach

Client-centered lawyering means the attorney provides objective counsel to their client, empowering the client to make their own well-informed decisions. As an attorney, Patrice believes that her client’s empowered decision-making is vital to their progress through difficult personal and family transitions like divorce. Feeling well prepared to exercise their own judgment, divorcing spouses can often create better practical plans for moving forward in newly defined family roles.


Patrice offers a full spectrum of divorce process options that allow divorcing spouses to keep their discussions out of courtrooms, maintain their privacy, and enhance respectful communication. Using process options like Divorce Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, Attorney-Assisted Negotiation, can allow spouses to explore more creative solutions and build toward improved future communication, which is key successful co-parenting.




Divorce Mediation

In Divorce Mediation, Patrice works with spouses as a neutral mediator in a series of private sessions. With Patrice’s guidance, spouses identify issues, gather information needed to make informed decisions, and work to develop mutually agreeable solutions. Mediation can be a very good path to a more peaceful resolution of issues, and a mutually created and practical plan for moving forward into post-divorce lives.

Collaborative Divorce

As an experienced Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Patrice offers representation in this very flexible, private process. Collaborative Divorce can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a given family and is supported by a Professional Team (specially trained attorneys and a neutral Coach/Facilitator) according to a family’s needs, interests, and goals. The result can be a more peaceful resolution of past issues, and a mutually crafted road map for moving forward into post-divorce lives.

Review Counsel

Patrice often acts as an advisor/advocate to support individuals going through divorce mediation (with a mediator other than her). In this role, Patrice provides her clients the benefit of independent counsel even while they pursue a non-adversarial resolution to their divorce. This work usually happens in meetings outside the mediation sessions.

Settlement Counsel

Patrice often represents individual spouses in divorce negotiations that don’t fall into a clear process definition. Sometimes, spouses begin discussions directly with each other, but run into stumbling blocks or simply need help finalizing an agreement. If both spouses are committed to keeping the divorce process out of court, Attorney Assisted Divorce Negotiation can be effective in concluding the case. Patrice can only represent a single spouse in this capacity, but can engage directly with the other spouse or that person’s attorney.


Mending Fences

Patrice co-hosts a biweekly podcast with Jennifer Hawthorne. Mending Fences is a podcast about dispute resolution and effective ways to communicate and live across differences. Patrice and Jennifer are both family mediators and collaborative law attorneys, but their conversations go well beyond family law. They explore the personal, interpersonal, legal, and cultural impact of conflict. 

Available wherever you listen to your podcasts. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I start? I think my spouse and I might be headed for divorce, and I don’t know what I need to know

Start by gathering information. Take the time to learn what’s available, and what the legal and style differences are between various divorce process options.

In Massachusetts, you can start the process by filing a complaint with the court if you want court involvement throughout your case. Or you can resolve your divorce entirely without court involvement, and only see a judge at the end to submit your final written agreement.

Most divorce professionals offer brief, no-cost consultations to talk though various options that can help you get started. It’s often a good idea early in the process to talk to an attorney/mediator who can fully explain the process options.

Talk to Patrice to learn more.

Do we have to go to court to get divorced? We want to stay amicable and leave lawyers and judges out of our divorce.

In Massachusetts, all divorce agreements must be in writing and must be approved by a Probate and Family Court judge. So, although you might reach your agreements and understandings through Divorce Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, or just between the two of you, you do still have to submit your agreement to the court for approval. In most such cases, you will attend one hearing to answer basic questions about your marriage, your finances, and your divorce agreement. And in most cases, you do not need an attorney to attend the hearing with you.

Talk to Patrice to learn more.

Is Patrice a lawyer or a mediator?

Patrice is both an attorney and a mediator. These roles are different, and if you engage her in one role, she cannot provide service in the other role. For instance, if Patrice has met with you individually and provided legal advice or even heard you speak much about your divorce situation, she probably can’t act as a neutral mediator for your divorce. Likewise, if Patrice has met with you and your spouse as a neutral mediator, she probably can’t become counsel for either of you individually.

Talk to Patrice to learn more.

Can mediators help us understand the law?

Yes and no.

The answer is no if the question involves legal advice.  Mediators are neutral facilitators and cannot provide legal opinions or advice, even if they are also lawyers.

However, in Massachusetts, mediators can provide basic information about the law, such as a possible range of options on a given subject. This might come in the form of examples given by the mediator of solutions they’ve seen other couples use successfully.

Talk to Patrice to learn more.

Is Collaborative Divorce just a form of Divorce Mediation?

No. Although both processes are private, voluntary, and involve neutral facilitators, Collaborative Divorce is a different structure. Mediation might include just you, your spouse and the mediator, whereas Collaborative Divorce involves the spouses, their collaborative lawyers, and a neutral called a Coach/Facilitator, who is usually a mental health professional.

Collaborative Divorce is also a more structured process. Both spouses can benefit from the Professional Team approach, which can also include neutral financial consultants. Collaborative Divorce also provides real time access to individual legal advice during collaborative meetings.

Talk to Patrice to learn more.

Do we need lawyers if we are using mediation for our divorce?

Maybe. Of course, you are free to make decisions and complete your divorce without independent legal advice. However, at your divorce hearing, the judge will ask if you had chance to have your legal questions answered. In some cases, if a judge is very concerned about something in your agreement, she might ask that you seek counsel. Because this can happen, Patrice always recommends that her mediation clients consult independent counsel before signing and submitting a final agreement.

Talk to Patrice to learn more.

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