Information for people seeking to join the roster of the Vermont Superior Court Family Mediation Program
Consistent with demand for mediation services, the Vermont Superior Court Family Mediation Program enters into contracts with select mediators to deliver mediation services in eligible cases. These mediators have advanced levels of skills, experience, and training, which prepares them to mediate disputes arising from divorce proceedings, post-divorce matters, and guardianship matters.
Mediators on the roster agree to:
- Abide by the requirements and protocols of the program, including the standards of practice:
- Carry a minimum of $250,000 in professional liability insurance
- Charge for their services consistent with the program's Uniform Sliding Fee Scale:
- Complete continuing education and supervision as required by the program
One of the mediators on the roster serves as a case supervisor. The case supervisor provides guidance to the program's mediators and shepherds prospective mediators through the application process. The program is also supported by a program manager and an administrative assistant, both of whom are Judiciary employees.
The program welcomes applications from qualified mediators seeking to join the roster of mediators.
Please note that the program does not currently pay for or deliver the training that mediators must complete to acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to join the roster.
Applicants must satisfy minimum training requirements and minimum experiential requirements.
Mediators must supply information confirming that they have completed training in the following areas:
- 28 Hours of Basic Mediation (This includes a minimum of 6 hours of role play and debriefing activities.)
- 40 Hours of Divorce Mediation (The divorce mediation training may satisfy some of the other training requirements, and it must include at least 12 hours of hands-on advanced experience in technique and process, including role play, simulation, case study, and debriefing.) Topics covered must include:
- Law and mediation
- Issues in divorce mediation
- Understanding and working with the court
- Divorce and children
- Dynamics of families in mediation
- Domestic violence
- Alcohol and drugs
- Introduction to the literature of divorce
- Document writing
- 16 Hours of Advanced Skill Training in Mediating Divorcing Families (covering process, skills, and tools in addition to the 40 hours of divorce mediation training and including at least 4 hours of active role play and debriefing activities)
- 24 Hours of Training in the Psychology of Divorcing Family Dynamics (This must cover the effects of divorce on children, power imbalances, communication styles, and child development.)
- 36 Hours of Substantive Training as follows:
- Eight Hours of Domestic Abuse Training
- Eight Hours of Substance Use Disorder Training
- Eight Hours of Vermont Divorce Law
- Twelve Hours of Child Support Financial Issues (This must include at least 4 hours of hands on work such as case study, simulations, and role play.)
Mediators must supply information confirming that they have the following experience:
- 100 Hours of Family Mediation Experience (This is broadly defined to include divorce, post-divorce, parent-child contact, parentage, family business, wills, estates, minor guardianships, and unification.)
- Fifty** of the 100 hours must be as the solo or primary mediator in a divorce, post-divorce, or parentage case.
- Three cases during the 50 hours must be in concurrent consultation with the program's case supervisor.
- Two of the cases must be complete divorces that include a written proposed parenting plan and property settlement.
** Included in the 50 hours, the applicant shall receive no fewer than 7 hours of direct case consultation with up to 3 separate program consultants, one of whom may be the case supervisor. This consultation shall include planning, document review, and debriefing specifically for the purpose of case review and preparation. The consultation may occur by phone or in person. Every consultant who provides case consultation services must observe the application for at least 90 minutes either in person or by video.
If you are interested in joining the roster of the Vermont Superior Court Family Mediation Program, follow these steps:
- Download the application
- Consult the case supervisor for guidance regarding how prior or upcoming training satisfies various training or experiential requirements
- Mail the completed application and supporting documentation to:
Vermont Superior Court Family Mediation Program
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-0701
Please note: Submission of an application does not constitute acceptance to the roster
The program manager will review the application to evaluate your qualifications and experience.
The program manager will schedule an interview with you provided that your application and supporting documentation indicate that you have met the minimum qualifications to join the roster. The program manager will evaluate how your training, experience, professionalism, and ability to represent the Judiciary align with the program's needs.
If the program manager concludes that you meet the training and experiential requirements to join the roster for the program, the program will conduct a criminal background check. Upon completion of a satisfactory criminal background check, the program manager will contact you and ask you to sign a contract with the Judiciary so that you can be added to the program's roster.