How to Earn Divorce Mediation Certification

Divorce Mediation Certification

Divorce mediation certification as well as divorce mediation services are becoming more common, and they can have a huge impact on the outcome of a divorce. Alternative dispute resolution has grown in popularity for several types of disputes, including divorce and family law.  Experienced mediators can help both participants see the value in resolving the case without litigation. Enlisting a divorce mediator in a case can help the participants find common ground and a way to split with less resentment.

Because divorce and family mediation will always be a necessity to settle disputes in the conflict resolution sphere, an increasing amount of people are interested in how to become divorce mediators. Starting a mediation practice can be difficult, and the parameters for how to be certified vary from state to state. For example, in many states, to be a court-roster mediator in family law, mediators may need experience as mental health professionals, social workers, or family law attorneys, but this is not always the case.

For this reason, it is important to check with the supreme court of the state that you would like to be licensed in. However, this article will outline some of the key elements for becoming a divorce mediator that will often apply, no matter where the certificate is approved.

Participate in Divorce Mediation Training Program

The biggest thing that a mediator can do to earn a certificate in divorce mediation is to attend a divorce mediation training program. These training courses will have much of the standard basic mediation training with topics that are specific to divorce as well. Training programs help participants to develop mediation skills and theory to help create effective mediators after successful completion of the training requirements.

The Basics of Conflict Resolution

The first thing that meditation students will encounter in basic training programs will be an introduction to mediation and conflict theory. Students will begin to understand why parties deal with conflict, how mediation can address that conflict, and the alternatives that exist to mediation. This will also include an overview of court procedures in circuit courts to demonstrate to non-attorneys what the parties may encounter to help provide more advice for mediation.

They will also be taught several meditation skills, such as communication and the benefit of clients understanding their guidance. They learn why these skills will aid in their mediation practice, and how to choose when and where to use specific tactics or skills.

Divorce-Specific Topics

To become a divorce mediator, there are additional training requirements to ensure that you can deal with the difficult issues that arise in divorce cases upon completion. This will include sections on domestic violence, mental health, and financial issues that will be a part of divorce mediation. Many ADR programs will also include sections on how to deal with custody issues for the children in the divorce. These additional aspects will complement the basic training to ensure that well-rounded and competent professionals complete the course.

Mediation Practice

Another training requirement of many divorce mediation training courses is the need to practice how to mediate with classmates. First, many courses will have the students work on case studies of prior mediations and clients to determine what was done well and what could be done differently. Case studies help to develop an understanding of how mediation works in practice.

A divorce mediation training program will also include interactive role plays, where students role-play as different people within the divorce mediation and effectively mediate a simulated divorce. This can help them understand how to work with families to create solutions that will benefit everyone involved.

Hands-On Experience

Once a participant completes a basic training course, they will need to gain hands-on experience with divorce mediation. This often involves co-mediating multiple cases with experienced mediators to ensure that the skills and practices that the training programs have taught are implemented well. Once a person completes the required number of co-sponsored mediations, they will be able to obtain their certificate and start taking on their own clients.

Continuing Education

After opening up a mediation business, mediators will still need to obtain a variety of continuing education credits. Continuing legal education ensures that mediators are up to date on the latest issues and laws in the field. These can cover a host of topics for mediation training, such as new methods of conflict resolution or the impact of certain cases on the practice of mediation. Attending these programs help a mediator stay on top of their game.

Taking the First Step

If you are interested in becoming a family mediator, we suggest reaching out to the local court system to understand the requirements. If you are looking for an approved course or program, check out ADR Times’s list of programs offered to get started.

Emily Holland
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