Family Mediation Training Standards

Administrative procedures included in the 40-hour standards also apply to the Family Mediation Training Standards.

Minimum course time: 30 hours*

Acknowledging the work of the Academy of Family Mediators and in an effort to incorporate that organization’s requirements, TMTR recognizes the following AFM identified course outcomes:

Each student should have an

  1. Awareness of theories and current research and literature underlying conflict and its resolution, and their applicability to family mediation;
  2. Ability to screen for appropriateness of mediation, including knowledge and ability to screen for domestic violence and an awareness of appropriate response(s) when domestic violence or its potential has been identified;
  3. Awareness of the consequences of separation/divorce for adults and children;
  4. Ability to work with the substantive information encountered in separation/divorce mediation;
  5. Ability to facilitate problem solving between the parties, especially in the areas of divorce including, but not limited to, parenting, support, division of assets/liabilities, insurance, tax filing, and the like; and
  6. Ability to recognize when the assistance of other professionals might be helpful to the mediation process and to facilitate this discussion with the parties.

TMTR Standards for Family Mediation Training

The following six main topics should be covered.  Also included are recommended time allocations and the various issues which might be included under each topic:

  1. Family Law (minimum of 4 hours)
    1. Overview of legal system and terms relating to family law
      1. History and evolution of legal rights of parents
      2. Parentage (never married parents)
      3. Suits affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR)
      4. Dissolution of marriage
      5. Adult guardianship
    2. Allocation of resources
      1. Itemization, characterization, valuation and division of assets and liabilities
      2. Finances
      3. Taxes
    3. Parenting Plans
      1. Conservatorship
      2. Parental rights and duties
      3. Parental access
      4. Child support
      5. Non-parental access (grandparents, etc.)
      6. Special issues of children with disabilities
  2. Family Dynamics (minimum of 3 hours)
    1. Family Systems
    2. Blended Families
    3. Psychological aspects of divorce and parenting
  3. Child Development (minimum of 2 hours)
    1. Stages of development
    2. Impact and response to divorce
  4. Family Violence (minimum of 4 hours)
    1. Screening
    2. Impact of statutory requirements
    3. Dynamics of family violence patterns, including power imbalances
    4. Effect of family violence on children
    5. Child abuse
    6. Substance abuse
    7. Stalking
    8. Protective orders
    9. Reporting laws and procedures
    10. Anger management
    11. Mediation safety plans, including caucus models
    12. Violent children
  5. Practice Considerations
    1. Ethics (minimum of 2 hours)
    2. Agreement memorialization
    3. Unauthorized practice of law (UPL)
    4. Pro se cases
    5. Enforcement
    6. Styles-of-mediation
    7. Self-awareness
    8. Impact of cultural differences
  6. Skills
    1. Communication
    2. Relationship-building
    3. Information gathering
    4. Problem solving
    5. Conflict resolution theory
    6. Referrals to professional support services (such as, social study/psychological evaluation, therapy, parenting education program, anger management counseling, family violence shelter, certified financial planning, certified public accounting, etc.)

Role Play: 6 hours minimum (including demonstrations, simulations, debriefing)

Teaching Techniques to be Used: Lecture, interactive exercises, video, discussion, role-play

Lead Trainer Qualifications:

  1. Meets the Texas training requirements of 40 + 24 hours of training for parent-child mediations
  2. 2 years experience as a family mediator
  3. Experience in doing professional training

*  Note that TMTR, in agreement with other national and state organizations using the standards promoted by ACR, has raised the number of required hours to accommodate the need for training on domestic violence and to raise the time spent on roleplay.

Adopted September 11, 2000


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