40 Hour Family Mediation Skills Training

(Feb 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25) 2023 – Virtual training course



$1,595 per person – REGISTER NOW!

Develop Family Mediation Skills to become Rule 114 Qualified.
Six day training (40 hours)

This course has been certified for 40 hours of alternative dispute resolution training by the State Court Administrator, ADR Program.


This training meets the requirements for the Minnesota Rule 114 qualified neutral roster for family mediation. In this 40-hour training, topics regarding the process of mediation, public versus private sector mediation, the practical components of facilitating mediations, child development, family law, domestic abuse, and other dynamics of divorce are covered. Each day will include mediation role-playing where participants will apply the skills learned from each topic by acting as a mediator and parties in different scenarios that incorporate aspects of the training.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn the different styles of mediation, with an emphasis on the facilitative model, the mediation process, the role of the mediator/neutral, all within the context of family law
  • Participants will learn, and be able to apply, negotiation theory, conflict resolution theory, and techniques to navigate different dynamics and situations that are frequently seen in family law mediation
  • Participants will develop an understanding about child development, psychodynamics of divorce, domestic abuse, and mental health issues and the influence on the mediation process
  • Participants will gain broad overview of family law, including financial components such as property division and alimony, custody and parenting time, and child support
  • Participants will understand the different rules and guidelines relating to best practices, ethical rules, and laws/regulations governing mediation and alternative dispute resolution
  • Participants will gain skills through daily practice of concepts via simulations and role playing

Click picture below for downloadable PDF file.


Kate C. Stevens, JD, MS, MA – Kate Stevens received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa before pursuing her law degree and Master’s degree in Government Organization and Administrative Leadership from Creighton University School of Law. Kate also holds a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from University of North Dakota. From 2012 to 2016, Kate practiced as a juvenile public defender in Iowa, where she was appointed as attorney for children in delinquency cases and as attorney/guardian ad litem for children in child welfare cases. Since 2016, Kate has been with Hennepin County, first as an evaluator/mediator for Family Court Services before becoming a supervisor within the Hennepin County Attorney’s Victim Witness Division in 2020. In January 2022, Kate returned to her role as evaluator/mediator with Hennepin County.

Zak Chesson received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently works at Hennepin County Family Mediation and Evaluation as a Custody and Parenting Time Mediator/Evaluator, a position he’s held since 2017. Prior to joining Hennepin County, Zak was an ICWA certified Guardian ad Litem in both Family and Juvenile Court in the Fourth Judicial District. Zak was also a Guardian ad Litem Coordinator in the Second District. Zak is currently President Elect of AFCC Minnesota, and will become President in July of 2023. He is co-chair of the AFCC Minnesota Values Committee and is also a member of the Legislative and Public Policy Committee.

Jennifer Prax, MA. Jennifer graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Studies, and received her Masters Degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Jennifer began volunteering with Hennepin County Probation in 1996, working with domestic violence offenders, and was hired in 1997 as a Probation Officer. For the next 15 years, she worked primarily writing Pre-Sentence Investigations, including work with criminal offenders, crime victims, and gathering community impact. Since joining Hennepin County Family Mediation and Evaluation (formerly Hennepin County Family Court Services) in 2012, Jennifer has provided Mediation services, Social Early Neutral Evaluations and Custody and Parenting Time Evaluations. Jennifer has maintained her interest in working with families impacted by intimate partner violence, and recently completed a 6-year term on the 4th District Judicial Court Fatality Review Team. She continues to serve on their Advisory Board.

James Street, a recently retired Family Court Referee, is a shareholder at Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O’Connell, PLLC and practices in Family Court Alternative Dispute Resolution. As a Referee, he presided over 2,500 family law proceedings over 12 years including contested custody, spousal maintenance, grandparent visitation, divorces, child support and parenting time disputes. This experience positions him to provide insightful evaluative mediation, moderate settlement conferences, and serve as a special master or consensual special magistrate. As a Referee, he also trained new judges in family law and case management techniques and served as Chair of the State’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Ethical Board appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court. He is a frequent speaker and former president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).