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Does a Family Mediator Have to Be a Lawyer?

A family mediator is often a lawyer that specializes in settling legal disputes in a neutral manner. Although, a family mediator does not necessarily have to be a lawyer in Louisiana, they must undergo special training so they understand the applicable family laws, the procedures in family law litigation, and the downsides of litigation and costs associated with it. In Louisiana, lawyers who also serve as mediators in family law cases generally have more experience and understanding of the ramifications that result from issues decided in mediation and litigation process when matters are not resolved.

Often times, depending on the situation, individuals want to bring their own lawyers to the mediation for additional comfort in the decisions being made during mediation. While most mediators welcome the parties counsel during mediation sessions, it can sometimes cause the sessions to be longer as the lawyers may try to over advocate as if they were in court. If the mediator is also a lawyer, the mediator can usually get the mediation refocused on settlement discussions quicker as the mediator will have a better understanding of the legal process.

Family mediation is a process that requires the parties to focus on the disputed issues while considering the best interest of the family – which does not always coincide with what you may want. Sometimes having a lawyer act as the mediator helps family members be more confident and comfortable with their decisions which help the parties resolve the issues.