Divorce and Custody Mediation Training FAQ

The course is organized to cover the basic areas of divorce mediation. (See the Sample Workshop Agenda for more details.) Both experiential and didactic, the course will not only cover the basic content areas of a divorce settlement, i.e., property division, support and parenting arrangements, etc., but will also include components on the nature of the divorce process and its relationship to mediation, mediation as a form of dispute resolution, the role of professional mediators vis-a-vis attorneys and therapists, ethics and standards of practice for mediators, getting started as a mediator, marketing, continuing education, writing a memorandum, and related issues involved in acquiring the knowledge and skills to become a competent mediator. One distinctive feature of this training is the inclusion of videotapes of each stage of the mediation process. In addition, our 369-page manual includes many of the forms you'll need to start a divorce mediation practice.

At present, there is no licensing of mediators and no system of national certification. Some states or county courts have requirements for mediators who receive referrals from the courts. If you have any questions regarding certification requirements in your area, contact your nearest state or municipal court.

This training meets 40 of the 60 hour training requirement for Practitioner Membership in the Family Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution, the only national organization that sets standards for mediators. A certificate will be issued upon satisfactory completion of and full attendance at the training course. If for any reason you are unable to attend the full forty hours, you must consult your trainer in advance to make alternate arrangements.

Yes. The Family Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution has formally approved our program as part of its requirements for membership as follows:

"This program has been approved by the Family Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution and fulfills 40 of the 60 hours of training required for Advanced Practitioner membership in the Association."

Under the Court Rule 3.216, domestic relations mediators in Michigan need the following qualifications to be put on a roster in any circuit court that has an approved ADR plan:

G. Qualification of Mediators.

  1. To be eligible to serve as a domestic relations mediator under this rule, an applicant must meet the following minimum qualifications:
    1. The applicant must
      1. be a licensed attorney, a licensed or limited licensed psychologist, a licensed professional counselor, or a licensed marriage and family therapist; or
      2. have a master's degree in counseling, social work, or marriage and family therapy; or
      3. have a graduate degree in a behavioral science; or
      4. have 5 years experience in family counseling.
    2. The applicant must have completed a training program approved by the State Court Administrator providing the generally accepted components of domestic relations mediation skills. [Currently a 40-hour basic domestic relations mediation training plus an 8-hour domestic violence screening training approved by the State Court Administrator.]
    3. The applicant must have observed two domestic relations mediation proceedings conducted by an approved mediator, and have conducted one domestic relations mediation to conclusion under the supervision and observation of an approved mediator.
  2. An applicant who has specialized experience or training, but does not meet the specific requirements of subrule (G)(1), may apply to the ADR clerk for special approval. The ADR clerk shall make the determination on the basis of criteria provided by the State Court Administrator. [Currently the degree requirements above may be waived upon demonstration of completion of 80 hours or 20 cases in domestic relations mediation(Training Standards 7.2.5).]
  3. Approved mediators are required to obtain 8 hours of advanced mediation training during each 2-year period. Failure to submit documentation establishing compliance is grounds for removal from the list under subrule(F)(4).

The Michigan State Court Administrative Office requires that Domestic Relations Mediators wishing to be listed on court rosters take an approved Domestic Violence Screening for Mediators Training. This training includes an overview of domestic violence issues in mediation, an overview of the Michigan Domestic Violence Screening Protocol (which can be found on the SCAO's Office of Dispute Resolution web site), and training in the use of the Screening Protocol. Michigan is the first state to approve a Domestic Violence Screening Protocol for private mediators. This 8-hour training is given regularly in tandem with the Michigan 40-hour domestic relations training classes, and can be set up to be given at any location by contract.

We recommend that you read Getting to Yes (2nd ed.) by Roger Fisher and William Ury with Bruce Patton (Houghton Mifflin, 1991) and either Divorce and Family Mediation: Models, Techniques, and Applications edited by Jay Folberg, Ann L. Milne, and Peter Salem (Guilford Press, 2004) or Mediating with Families (4th ed.) by Mieke Brandon and Linda Fisher (Lawbook Co., 2018) to make the most of the workshop.

If you have either recently undergone a divorce or are presently involved in a divorce, we encourage you to wait before taking training in divorce mediation. Please call us if you are in this category.

You are responsible for your accommodations and meals.

We encourage our attendees to dine together for lunch during the workshop. Some of our locations offer facilities in-house while others are located near local restaurants that offer ample space for the course participants to get acquainted with one another. Feel free to contact the Center for information regarding accommodations and/or any specific dietary requirements you may have at least 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the training.

As our workshops are rather intense and somewhat lengthy, we recommend you wear comfortable, casual clothing. Since temperature needs vary from person to person, you are encouraged to bring several layers of clothing.

Full course fee minus $150 will be returned if you cancel 14 days in advance. After that, half of the course fee is non-refundable. If MTCI must cancel a program, the full course fee will be returned.

The Eight Rules of Framing, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, walks you through each suggested rule and often provides an opportunity for you to choose possible alternative approaches and see how the couple might react. Nice job Zena!
– Bill Warters, Assistant Professor, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Warm, engaging, expert, patient.
– Ann Arbor, Mich.