How Do I Become a Court Mediator?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

The criteria you will have to meet to become a court mediator depends on the jurisdiction and court system in which you seek employment. Some jurisdictions will require you to have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, though many require candidates to have college degrees instead. You may also face age and training requirements and need related experience to get hired for this position. Some jurisdictions also require candidates to pass background checks.

Divorce mediation is mandatory in some areas, meaning it is required before the divorcing partners can continue on to family court.
Divorce mediation is mandatory in some areas, meaning it is required before the divorcing partners can continue on to family court.

You will usually have to meet minimum educational requirements in order to become a court mediator, and the exact requirements usually differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In general, you will probably need at least a bachelor's degree to qualify for this position, and some employers will give preference to job candidates who have earned master's degrees or higher. Though many jurisdictions do require degrees, there are some in which you can qualify for this job with a high school diploma or General Educational Development® (GED®) credential. This is particularly true when you have significant life experience or training that helps to qualify you for the job.

Many jurisdictions also set age requirements that you will have to meet when you want to become a court mediator. In most places, you will have to be at least 18 years old, or the legal adult age in the jurisdiction, to land this job. There are some court systems, however, that set the age requirement higher. In such places, you will likely have to be at least 21 years old to qualify to become a court mediator.

In most jurisdictions, you will also be required to have significant training before you can become a court mediator. The amount of training you will need typically depends on your background and varies by jurisdiction. For example, if you are already a trained psychologist, you may need less additional training to land this job. Some jurisdictions require as little as 12 hours of mediation-related training while others may require 20 hours or more.

You can expect the court systems in most jurisdictions to require experience as well. Some require two, three, or even fours years of relevant experience. The type and amount of experience you need, however, may depend on the type of mediator job you seek. For example, the experience requirement often proves different for family court mediators than dispute resolution mediators.

Though this is not the case in every jurisdiction, some court systems perform background checks as part of the process of hiring new mediators. In some places, for example, you may have to submit to a criminal background check and have a record that is clear of felonies for this job. Additionally, having too many misdemeanors may disqualify you for this job in some jurisdictions.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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