When looking for and choosing a divorce mediator you should consider a variety of factors. The most important is experience and training of the mediator. The Massachusetts Council of Family Mediators has a rigorous certification process for divorce and family mediators. As the current chairperson of the Certification Committee for MCFM, and a Certified Mediator since 1996, MCFM certification is a clear indication of the competence and experience of a divorce and family mediator. The committee has recently implemented some major changes to encourage mediators to apply for certification. There are currently less than 30 MCFM Certified Mediators in Massachusetts.
A mediator can apply for certification if they have an advanced degree, 90 hours of substantive training in specified areas and over 100 hours of face to face mediation experience in 10 or more mediations. The MCFM certification committee reviews these applications and the three sample agreements that must be submitted. A certified mediator is required to maintain malpractice insurance and must renew their certification status every two years. The renewal process requires 20 hours of continuing education and a minimum number of hours of actual mediations during that period. MCFM Certified Mediators can display the MCFM Certified Mediator Logo.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not license or credential mediators in any way, so really anyone can say they are a divorce mediator. Mediators who are lawyers or therapists have professional licensure and board processes. MCFM Certification provides the public with a clear indication that the particular mediator has the appropriate high level of training and experience; and has been evaluated by a committee of their peers.