Two Businesspeople Sitting At Office Desk{1:50 minutes to read} If you want to learn how to be a divorce mediator, should you first apprentice with another mediator? Well, maybe. Can you learn some skills from them? Yes, and you could see how they apply the basic training, although what you’ll find out is that they probably throw out 90% of what they learned.

The basic training is really a broad set of guidelines and techniques, while divorce mediation is often subject-specific.

  • How do you calculate a marital interest in retirement plans, bank accounts, real property, cash values of life insurance, etc.?

They can’t teach you that in a basic 30-hour mediation training. And working with an experienced mediator will only show you their particular way of doing things. 

Your Style

Okay, so now you go out on your own, try to apply the particular style of the experienced mediator, and find that you’re having a lot of trouble with it. Why? Because that isn’t your style. Your style needs to be an outgrowth of your personality and life experiences. It’s the way you think and process information, and your ability to remove yourself from the emotion and turmoil, to help your clients get to the heart of the conflict. These are skills that can’t be learned because they’re in your DNA. So, once you understand that, you can begin to take a little bit from here and a little bit from there, and by picking and choosing what works for you, you can apply those skills and develop your own style. And that is what’ll make you a good divorce mediator.  

Of course, that takes time to develop, and you’re kind of practicing on your clients, and they are paying you for it. We all have (hopefully) figured out what works and applied those skills, and if they don’t work, then we try something else. It’s really about experience and finding out what works for you, not copying somebody else’s style.

OK, Mr. Know-It-All.  So what’s the advice that we can take away? Try this:

  • Narrow the focus
  • Make a checklist of issues
  • Address issues and concerns one at a time
  • Discover the underlying problems

So, now you can solve everything and can look like the expert you are!!

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: