The New York State Council on Divorce Mediation (NYSCDM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the highest professional standards of divorce mediation. Among its services to the community, NYSCDM works actively to promote family wellness by increasing public awareness of mediation as the preferred process for divorce.

Its Directory of Mediators, frequently updated, provides information for locating mediation services in your area. NYSCDM also provides a forum for professional mediators to discuss issues relative to accreditation, professional development and training, and interdisciplinary relationships.

As a service to the public, the NYSCDM Ethics Committee investigates client complaints involving our members. We invite your inquiries.

The mission of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation is to advance the professional development of our members and promote mediation for families and couples in conflict.

Our mission includes:

  • Promoting the highest professional standards for divorce mediation.
  • Assisting and encouraging mediator excellence and success.
  • Increasing public awareness of the financial and emotional benefits of a mediated agreement.
  • Promoting mediation as the first choice when couples separate, divorce or face family conflicts.

Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation

Family and divorce mediation (“family mediation” or “mediation”) is a process in which a mediator, an impartial third party, facilitates the resolution of family disputes by promoting the participants’ voluntary agreement. The family mediator assists communication, encourages understanding and focuses the participants on their individual and common interests. The family mediator works with the participants to explore options, make decisions and reach their own agreements.

Family mediation is not a substitute for the need for family members to obtain independent legal advice or counseling or therapy. Nor is it appropriate for all families. However, experience has established that family mediation is a valuable option for many families because it can:

  • Increase the self-determination of participants and their ability to communicate;
  • Promote the best interests of children; and
  • Reduce the economic and emotional costs associated with the resolution of family disputes.

Effective mediation requires that the family mediator be qualified by training, experience and temperament; that the mediator be impartial; that the participants reach their decisions voluntarily; that their decisions be based on sufficient factual data; that the mediator be aware of the impact of culture and diversity; and that the best interests of children be taken into account. Further, the

mediator should also be prepared to identify families whose history includes domestic abuse or child abuse.

These Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation aim to perform three major functions:

  1. To serve as a guide for the conduct of family mediators;
  2. To inform the mediating participants of what they can expect in mediation;
  3. To promote public confidence as a process for resolving family disputes.

The Model Standards are aspirational in character. They describe good practices for family mediators. They are not intended to create legal rules or standards of liability.

For the full details on the Model Standards, please click this link.