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- Texas (2001)
- Massachusetts (1996)
- Western New England University School of Law (1996)
- University of Connecticut
Certifications & Specialties:
- Guardian ad Litem, Category F, Massachusetts Trial Court
- Certified Financial Litigator, American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators
- Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association
- Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
- Massachusetts Council for Family Mediation (MCFM)
- Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce
- RESOLVE New England
- ACONE – Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Group
Appointed & Elected Positions:
- Massachusetts Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution (Appointed 2017-Present)
- MCFM Board of Directors, Judicial Liaison Committee Chair and Membership Committee (2018-Present)
- Board of Directors, Western New England University School of Law Alumni Association, Nominations Committee Member (2019-Present)
Andrea Wells, Esq.
Andrea Wells is a skilled family law trial attorney, divorce mediator, Guardian ad Litem (GAL), and certified financial litigator. Her caseload consistently includes divorce, custody, paternity, support, modification, contempt, and adoption matters. Although her clients present with a broad range of legal issues, Attorney Wells most enjoys applying her insight and skill in complex financial and parenting matters.
Attorney Wells is also an accomplished leader in the Massachusetts legal community. In fact, she currently serves as an appointee to the Massachusetts Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution and as an elected member of the Massachusetts Council for Family Mediation Board of Directors.
Certified Financial Litigator with Experience in Complex Financial Matters
Attorney Wells is a Certified Financial Litigator (“CFL”), having earned her accreditation from the American Academy of Certified Financial Litigators (“AACFL”)*. AACFL-accredited practitioners receive a high level of specialized training in financial matters that often arise in litigation–such as asset valuation, accounting, investments, taxation, and compensation.
While most seasoned family law attorneys have experience dealing with complex financial matters, Attorney Wells’ AACFL certification reflects her completion of robust, comprehensive training. This training was further followed by the successful testing of her acumen. A higher level of financial understanding, together with extensive experience, tends to result in greater efficiency in understanding complex and unique financials, formulating an effective argument, and carrying greater credibility and persuasiveness in the negotiation process.
Divorce mediation can be a great approach for couples who believe they can work together to reach a full settlement in their case with the assistance of a neutral third party. With mediation, you can work out the entirety of your issues before filing with the court. This often preserves a working relationship with your co-parent while saving time and money. All mediators, however, are not alike.
Although she is an incredibly competent litigator who always works towards resolution, Attorney Wells is also a divorce mediator. As a divorce mediator, Attorney Wells is able to offer tremendous insight into complex financial and parenting issues. Difficult issues require creativity in problem-solving. As a party, you may not readily see a solution that will get you past impasse. But Attorney Wells has likely dealt with the issue many times over. In turn, she understands what works well and what doesn’t. If you’re considering mediating through complex issues, consider scheduling a mediation consultation with Attorney Wells.
Collaborative Family Law Attorney
A lesser utilized but highly effective way of reaching a divorce settlement is the collaborative law approach, which is a more structured type of out-of-court negotiation. Through collaborative law, the parties and their attorneys enter into a written agreement. Under this agreement, they commit to working cooperatively through the financial disclosure, negotiation, and agreement drafting steps of the case. The parties and their counsel proceed through each issue, overcoming challenges and finding creative solutions together. They’ll also retain experts jointly if needed, such as business valuation professionals or parenting experts.
Yet, under the collaborative agreement, if the parties abandon the process, they must start over with new lawyers and experts. Accordingly, collaborative law parties tend to be especially motivated to settle their case. After all, as the case proceeds, their financial investment in the collaborative law process increases, as does their time investment.
Collaborative law is a good option for individuals who wish to save money and keep their divorce private. A party not only needs patience and cooperativeness for this process to work, however. The party will also need a collaboratively-trained attorney like Andrea Wells. Attorney Wells is a member of the relatively small collaborative divorce law community and can offer you her thoughts as to whether this process might be the right fit for your case.
Discerning Guardian ad Litem
In addition to her work as a family law litigator, collaborative lawyer, and divorce mediator, Attorney Wells also serves as a court-appointed Category F Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”) in contested divorce and family law matters. As GAL, Attorney Wells in essence is a neutral investigator, appointed by the court to help gather information relevant to child custody matters. In this role, Attorney Wells reviews the allegations of each party to the case, spends time with the parties individually and with their children, and meets with the children individually as well. She also speaks with collateral sources, which may include other family members, teachers, child care providers, therapists, and the like. A GAL appointment is comprehensive. In fact, it typically involves 15 to 30 hours to investigate and write a report to the court with findings and recommendations.
Notably, Attorney Wells’ role as a GAL is incredibly helpful when serving in a litigation or negotiation capacity. Not only has she observed an extensive array of family dynamics and fact patterns firsthand, but she also has significant experience making findings and presenting them to the court (most commonly as the judge’s most persuasive source of information).
Presentations and Publications
Attorney Wells is a firm believer in the importance of furthering legal education. She has therefore presented on various legal panels and has been interviewed on family law topics. She has also co-authored a publication about contested issues in estates. Attorney Wells’ work as a co-author and presenter includes the following.
- Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) (co-presenter), Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, Tri-River Practice Group, April 2020
- Adoption and ART (co-presenter), USA 500 Roundtable, November 2018
- Collaborative Adoption, Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, Tri-River Practice Group, September 2015
- Adoption Law, Legal Ease, WestCat television interview, July 2016
- Alimony Reform, Legal Ease, WestCat television interview, December 2016
- Contested Issues in Estates (MCLE 2005), “Tips on Dealing with Divorce, Remarriage, and Prenuptial Agreements” (co-author)