Q: Are family law divorce mediators required to get a license for each state he/she mediates?
The short answer is that not all states require divorce mediators to be accredited. In fact, New Jersey is one of those states where there currently are no licensing requirements to simply hang out a shingle claiming to be a credible Divorce Mediator.
Notwithstanding the lack of state licensing requirements, for a lawyer to be listed in the NJ Superior Court Roster of Divorce Mediators ( a list in each county of lawyers accredited to act as divorce mediators), a lawyer is required to meet the specific accreditation requirements set forth in Court Rule 1:40-12, which requires the lawyer to devote all or a substantiate amount of his practice to the area of family law and to successfully complete at least the basic 40 hour divorce mediation training course. And, in NJ, to handle court appointed family law mediation matters where there is an active domestic violence restraining order in place requires an advanced accreditation training course over an additional 5-day period of time. Many family law mediators also volunteer their time to one or more county family law Early Settlement Panels (ESP’s) to help the court system reduce the backlog of pending cases. I have been an ESP member in Essex, and Union Counties for the past 31 years and an ESP member in Somerset County for the past 10 years and a court appointed economic mediator in Essex, Union Morris, Somerset, Passaic, & Hunterdon Counties for the past 20 years.
So, while too many people in our state have the ability to hang out a shingle claiming to be a divorce mediator, you need to do your homework to determine his / her credentials for the work.
I am a “certified matrimonial trial lawyer by the NJ Supreme Court”, which is a designation held by only 2% of the entire population of lawyers in this state. It signifies that I have a specific level of trial experience, have successfully passed specific testing requirements and family part judges who I have appeared before, have similarly acknowledged my ability to properly handle the requirements of divorce and family law trial work from commencement through completion. I am also an accredited divorce mediator and an accredited family law mediator authorized to handle family law matters where there is an active domestic violence restraining order in place.
My recommendation is that if you and your spouse are looking for a family law mediator, do your homework and interview several mediators to determine your comfort level with their approach and their knowledge of the issues presented in your particular case.
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