Mediator Experience and training are critical to clients achieving a balanced and solid agreement.
Reputation, Experience and Training Matters
Many spouses are unaware that New York Law offers virtually no restrictions on who may become a divorce mediator. Surprisingly, there is no requirement in New York that mediators be lawyers, or even have direct experience in family law. In fact, to be placed on a New York State Court roster, all an individual requires is a mere 40 hours of mediation training. Even worse, private mediators do not require any training at all. There is nothing stopping an individual from selling mediation services in New York, even if that person has no mediation or family law training at all. There is also nothing stopping a matrimonial litigator or a former judge to suddenly start providing mediation services.
Additionally, now that word has spread about the success of mediation, many litigators are suddenly jumping onto the bandwagon, claiming to be mediators, yet they do not have training and experience in mediating cases. What they fail to realize is that mediation is not just a change in mindset or approach. Doing it successfully requires a specific set of skills that need to be learned, developed and practiced over time.
Here is a simple analogy: A surgeon cannot suddenly become an internist overnight. The patient would likely not receive the most appropriate nor beneficial treatment and may suffer serious consequences. People are very careful when they choose their doctors, and the same concern should be given when choosing a mediator. You want to make sure the mediator you choose has many years of mediation training and experience so they can provide you with the most beneficial outcome.
Two most important questions to ask a mediator before you hire him/her:
How long have you been doing mediation?
Sheryl-Anne Sastow has extensive experience in mediation, having obtained her first mediation certificate in 1996. Sheryl-Anne has promoted mediation since then in her many mediation classes, presentations, radio show and television appearances.
What advanced training have you had in mediation?
Like any profession, it takes years of training and experience to develop all the skills necessary to become a quality mediator. Sheryl-Anne has over 20 years of extensive advanced training and experience.