Thursday, February 28, 2013

Don't Be Fooled - Do Your Homework

Be wary of those who are "jack of all trades." Just because someone appears overqualified does not mean they ARE qualified. The Florida Supreme Court has altered the criteria to become a certified mediator. Basically any Tom, Dick or Harry with a high school diploma can become certified as a family mediator. I mean no disrespect to those who only have a high school diploma. However, to be a qualified family mediator, a person needs a stronger educational background to truly understand how a mediation should be handled. First off, family mediators should have a law degree, which allows them to understand the law and the legal system. This is not for the mediator to give legal advice, but for the mediator to understand the essence of the legal process and be able to communicate it factually to the parties. Secondly, a family mediator should have some background or education in psychology. How can a mediator empathize, be compassionate, and have patience during a mediation if the mediator can not understand the psychological and emotional impact a family dispute, such as divorce, has on the parties involved?
So, do your homework. If you're in the market for a family mediator, choose one with the proper qualifications. A Supreme Court certification alone in family mediation does not necessarily make the mediator qualified to handle your family's affairs.