What is a Certified Divorce Specialist (CDS) and how to become a CDS Aligned Brokerage

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A CDS  is one who has completed the Certified Divorce Specialists (CDS) Program – a comprehensive training for professionals in various industries who wish to provide better services to their divorcing clients.


The CDS curriculum consists of a specialized communication skills training with a focus on integrating those skills in a client-session environment. It also highlights specific legal, financial, mental health, and real estate information that are integral to the divorce process giving the professional a holistic understanding of their clients’ experience


What does this mean for Divorcing Clients?

It means that the CDS Aligned Brokerage/Team has gone above and beyond to make sure that their agents and staff are equipped with unique skills and divorce-specific information to manage a better experience for all parties involved.

About the CDS Program

This CDS program is a highly involved and participatory 16-hour course.  The curriculum is filled with experiential learning, including a comprehensive manual, several exercises, and time to practice  new skills. Participants are sure to come out of the training enlightened and equipped with tools to:

  • Overcome common professional/ divorce client obstacles
  • Communicate more efficiently with colleagues and clients
  • Manage emotional states (both the client’s and their own)
  • Gather information more effectively
  • Establish and achieve goals (both the client’s and their own)
  • Manage client’s  expectations
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve internal & external communication

The CDS training is available both online and in-person and can be customized to the needs of the firm. The training is suitable for all agents and staff in your brokerage who deal directly with divorcing clients. 

The CDS Curriculum Focuses On...


Essential communication skills professionals need to understand and work with divorcing clients to build and maintain a productive client relationship.

Language & Culture

How to understand the unique language and culture of the divorce process and the specific needs and wants divorcing clients may have. From terminology to traditions, the CDS™ Program covers a wide range of important topics all divorce professionals should know.


The holistic fundamental elements of the divorce process through its various stages, including the instrumental professionals and industries. CDS Designees know whom, how and when to recommend other professionals to help support their divorcing clients.
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CDS Aligned Brokerages/Teams know that the best investment is
to invest in their agents

Your team of agents will learn...


Communication Skills

One of the most challenging aspects of serving divorcing clients is having to communicate and build a professional/client relationship with individuals who are at the beginning or midst of an extremely painful process, both emotionally and financially. Most are experiencing a plethora of unhealthy and unproductive negative emotions that will ultimately guide their behaviors and choices. In order to help them navigate this turbulent process in an efficient manner, you must be able to communicate in a way that your client has clarity, comfort, and confidence. Part 1 of the CDS™ training strictly focuses on learning valuable tools to successfully manage your divorcing client both practically and emotionally.

Part I Topics

What CDS Are Saying...

"Having all of my staff gone through the Certified Divorce Specialist Program has improved my practice in various ways. In addition to being more effective when communicating with our divorcing clients, they are also much more effiicient with their time!
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Debra Whitson
New York, USA
"One of our CDS™ mediators was able to help our client avoid making a serious mistake that would have cost them thousands of dollars. She would not have been able to detect this potential disaster if it weren't for the Certified Divorce Specialist Training! I highly recommend this training for ALL businesses or practices who work directly with divorcing clients."
Don Schapira
Don Schapira
Fresh Start Mediation
Alberta, CA
"I see a huge difference in our client experience. Since we became a CDS Aligned Business, we have had an increase in word of mouth referrals because our CDS staff knows to provide that extra special care "
Lisa Zonder
California, USA

Fundamental Elements

When a couple decides to divorce, they begin a long drawn out journey to separate their lives and begin new ones on their own. Aside from the legal steps necessary to end the marriage, the process involves several changes in various other areas including finance, real estate and mental health. Although you might have knowledge in one or more of the areas listed, if you are providing a service to a divorcing individual, couple, or family, it is imperative for you to familiarize yourself holistically on ALL the parts that are involved and that your client will need help with. There are many areas that require either collaboration or a basic understanding in order to properly help your clients make the right decisions. One simple choice or step can affect the entire process either negatively or positively. This section of the CDS™ training focuses on the fundamental legal, financial, mental health and residential aspects of the divorce process that may directly affect your client.

Part II Topics

By Industry:

Why should divorcing clients work with a Certified Divorce Specialist (CDS) Aligned Brokerage?




Agents who complete the Certified Divorce Specialist (CDS) Program:

CDS Aligned Brokerages...


For more information on how to become a CDS™ Aligned firm and please email [email protected]

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