In Connecticut, anyone can hang a shingle declaring themselves to be a Mediator. No licensing or training is required. What?!? Would you go to an attorney who had not attended law school? A doctor who had not attended medical school? Of course not. Why then trust the dissolution of your marriage to someone untrained in mediation techniques and strategy?
You are choosing to mediate your divorce hoping to be able to successfully co-parent after your divorce, to maintain a civil relationship with your ex, ex-in-laws, and other family members. You are choosing to mediate in order to have a say in your divorce, not to have the terms dictated to you by a well-meaning but ill-informed 3rd party. Having a litigation attorney mediate your divorce, without training in facilitation, communication and psychology is like having a break dancer teach you ballet. Two great art forms, but…
Can litigators make good mediators? Yes, but they need mediation training. A trained mediator helps you uncover your interests and goals based on what is important to you, not based on what a Judge would do or what the mediator thinks is right. No one knows your family, your marriage, your challenges better than you. No one knows what will work for you as well as you do. Your divorce is not about getting every penny due to you, it is about structuring an agreement that works for you and your family based on your unique needs.
It takes special training to help you get there. Not just for attorneys but also for mental health and financial specialists who conduct divorce mediations. When you consult with a Mediator, make sure to ask her/him “What kind of Mediation training do you have?” “Do you belong to any Professional Mediation Associations?” ”Do you work with trained professionals in the field?”
Here, at The Divorce, Mediation and Collaborative Center, we are trained, we train others and we belong to organizations, national and international that promote Mediation by highly skilled and trained individuals.