Should My Mediator Be a Practicing Lawyer?
Representation vs. Support and Guidance
Divorce mediators and divorce lawyers serve two very different roles. Some mediators will also be practicing lawyers, but many others have practiced law and then switched to mediation for a reason. When shopping around for a good divorce mediator, you may be wondering what qualifications you should look for. Should your mediator have a law degree? Should they be actively practicing law?
These are great questions to ask because there is no standard qualification mediators must meet to practice in Massachusetts.
Know What Matters
While mediators come from all backgrounds, many used to practice law. This is telling. Mediation can be a more fulfilling practice than law for some people. The adversarial nature of divorce litigation leaves some lawyers feeling like there must be a better way to help couples through the difficult process of divorce. Those who prefer to offer information, support, and guidance instead of aggressive representation may turn to mediation.
The Best of Both Worlds
That being said, it would certainly be to your benefit to find a mediator who has a law degree and experience practicing law. Your mediator should have a solid background in law, but being a practicing lawyer is less relevant if you are looking for mediation services. It is important to understand that mediators cannot provide legal advice. So, while they may have legal knowledge, they cannot act as a lawyer in your case. A good mediator will have a thorough knowledge of the law and know the pitfalls of the Probate and Family Court system. This allows a mediator to better guide couples through the process of a Massachusetts divorce while avoiding those pitfalls. If you have questions about how to find a good mediator, your first step should be to consult with a few in your area. Ask them to explain the benefits and limitations of mediation. Ask them about their experience in the legal field and about their experience mediating. Experience matters when it comes to mediation, so look for one that has handled enough cases to make you feel confident about their ability to handle yours successfully.
If you have questions about divorcing in Massachusetts, contact Mediation Advantage Services for expert family law help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can provide you with the information and guidance needed to divorce efficiently in Massachusetts while reducing your costs. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 795-1557, fill out our online form, or email us at [email protected] today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.