Divorce mediators are not lawyers and have no special licensing, but mediators typically have a strong academic background in law, psychology or social services. Psychologists and lawyers refer couples to mediators if they request it or as a way to reduce the costs of divorce and reach a speedy and peaceful resolution.
- Skill level:
Earn at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Majors like pre-law, psychology and social work are all good qualifications for becoming a divorce mediator at a firm. Specific courses in divorce mediation are also available and may enhance a mediator's resume.
Contact lawyers and law firms that are friendly to mediation. Some firms advertise themselves as "Mediation Firms." Some lawyers oppose mediation and advise their clients against it. Get suggestions from other mediators or just ask the firms involved when you are canvassing for contacts.
Prepare to work directly with lawyers. In particularly adversarial divorce cases, it may be too emotionally difficult for spouses to go through mediation themselves. Neutrality is the goal of the mediator, and this impartiality should extend to the lawyers of both spouses.
Take courses or gain training in child psychology to assist in mediation for couples that have children. Child custody is the most conflict-ridden aspect of most divorces and can test a mediator's neutrality.
Continue education in mediation. Attending law school may be helpful, as would further education in psychology. Mediators are not therapists, however, and should not act as such. Developing contacts in family law, psychology and social work may be helpful to growing a mediation practice.
Working It Out
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