Earn Your Living as a Divorce Mediator
Divorce is the dissolution of marriage. It's an unfortunate event that affects the lives of many couples. It is a difficult and stressful time that causes both emotional and financial conflicts between the parties involved. In order to resolve these issues, divorcing couples can visit a divorce mediator.
A divorce mediator acts as a neutral party who helps negotiate agreements over sensitive issues that arise during a divorce. This valuable service requires a calm, reasonable, and level-headed individual to act as the middle man between people who may be emotionally crushed.
Divorce mediation is usually voluntary, but can also be recommended or ordered by the court. Typically mediation is a cheaper alternative than an expensive lawyer to settle personal issues. The divorce mediator helps to facilitate, mediate, and evaluate the clients, while also resolving any conflicts. Optimally an agreement is made that can be sent to the court and a long drawn out court battle can be avoided.
Divorce mediators set up a series of meetings with the divorcing couple. Attorneys may also be present to make sure their client's legal rights are upheld. The first meeting addresses what issues must be dealt with - division of assets, properties, custody of children, alimony, child support, debt, etc. The divorce mediator helps the man and woman know what information and documents to gather. They then set up another meeting to negotiate resolutions and compromises for every issue. Finally the divorce mediator helps the parties draw up final agreements for the court and attorneys to review.
During the meetings the divorce mediator must remain neutral and can never take sides with one client or the other. The divorce mediator is allowed to facilitate discussion, assist in communication, provide information, give insight, or suggest solutions. They also have appraisers, accountants, and attorneys on call to help with any issues that arise.
This series of meetings can take as little as a few weeks or up to six months. Typically divorce mediation has good results, but if it doesn't work it means litigation in the court system - something people usually want to avoid.
Working as a divorce mediator does not require a license, but most have a background in law, social work, counseling, or psychology. It is a good idea to become certified. All mediation certifications need to be approved by the Association of Conflict Resolution. Courses will cover ethical issues, financial issues, legal problems, conflict resolution, influence, neutrality, and definition of roles. Training can usually be completed in as few as 40 hours.
Divorce is very common in our society and this makes divorce mediation a popular and growing field. A typical divorce mediation process can cost $3,000 to $4,000 - significantly cheaper than an attorney. The divorcing couple should look for a qualified divorce mediator with a positive reputation for dealing with sensitive issues. Most divorce mediators work at mediation centers or law offices.
Even though a divorce mediator may only train for 40 hours, they still command an impressive hourly rate of $50 to $150 per hour. Some established and reputable divorce mediators earn up to $250 per hour.
Divorce mediation can be very simple or incredibly frustrating and emotionally draining. It's a challenging job where you have to look out for everyone's best interests and always remain totally neutral. Do you think you could do that? Do you think you could be a divorce mediator?
Quick Facts About Divorce Mediation
Job Title: Divorce Mediator
Description: Helps negotiate agreements over sensitive issues during a divorce Certifications/Education: No formal education required. Courses are typically 40 hours.
Necessary Skills: Calm, Neutral, Level Headed
Potential Employers: Mediation Centers, Law offices
Pay: $50 to $150 per hour, some make $250 per hour