Become a certified divorce specialist (cds™)

About Us

What is a CDS™?

The CDS™ (Certified Divorce Specialist) program is designed to provide a customized training focused on the fundamental elements of the divorce process throughout its various stages. It encompasses the industries and professionals instrumental to the process, and pertinent information that all those serving divorcing clients need to know. In addition, the CDS™ program provides a specialized communication skills training that is essential to understanding and assisting clients going through divorce. 

Why become certified as a CDS™?

When a CDS™ (Certified Divorce Specialist) puts their training into practice, they inevitably make the client’s experience better and the process run more smoothly. A CDS™ (Certified Divorce Specialist) is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to ultimately make a significant positive impact on their clients’ lives and the divorce process as a whole. 

CDS™ Benefits

By completing the CDS™ program, professionals will be able to:

  • Become better equipped in assisting your divorcing clients
  • Understand the legal, financial, mental health, and real estate implications in the divorce process
  • Communicate more effectively with your clients, leading to more cooperation rather than resistance
  • Be seen as a divorce specialist within your industry
  • Stand out from your competition
  • Become a part of a national directory of Certified Divorce Specialists
  • Receive a discounted rate for NADP membership


CDS™ Objectives

In order to achieve the goals set by the IADE, the CDS™ program is led by and built upon the following objectives: 

  • Provide the trainee with fundamental information on the divorce experience as a whole
  • Elaborate on the different industries and professionals involved in the divorce process and offer important information from each industry that directly affects the client’s experience 
  • Offer essential skills and tools that will allow the trainee to better understand, connect and communicate with their divorcing clients
  • Educate all trainees on various aspects of the divorce process across the Legal, Financial, Mental Health, and Real Estate fields


CDS Outline

How is the CDS™ Program laid out?

The Certified Divorce Specialist ( CDS™)  program is a highly involved and participatory training that is divided into two sections. The first section consists of a specialized communication skills training with a focus on integrating those skills in a client-session environment. In the second section, you will learn specific information regarding the legal, financial, mental health and real estate fields that is essential to the divorce process. Upon completion of the course, you must pass a CDS™ program assessment with a 75% or higher to receive the CDS™ designation.  After completing the program and passing the assessment, in order to maintain your designation you must pay a $95 reinstatement fee annually and are required to submit 10 hours of divorce-specific continuing education every two years.   

Part I (Day 1)

Communication Skills Training 

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 clients both practically and emotionally. 

   Part I  Topics:

  • Introduction to the CDS training program
  • Levels of Learning
  • NLP Communication Model
  • The Seven Stages of the Professional/Client Session Cycle
  • Avoiding resistance and maintaining co-operation with your clients
  • Effective methods of information gathering and precision questioning
  • Tools to manage your divorcing client’s emotional state and expectations

Part II (Day 2)

Divorce Basics

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 above, 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 simply basic understanding in order to properly help your clients make the right decision. One simple choice or step can affect the entire process either negatively or positively. To better serve your clients, this section of the CDS training focuses on fundamental aspects of the divorce process that directly affect those going through it. 

   Part II Topic:


  • Divorce process options and stages involved
  • Which legal professions might be involved in these processes
  • Important factors in a divorce settlement and parenting plan
  • Religion and Divorce


  • · The various financial issues in divorce 
  • Which financial professions might be involved in the divorce process 
  • The Financial Affidavit


  • The various real estate transactions that occur during divorce
  • Residential options when going through divorce
  • Which residential professions might be involved in the process 

             Mental Health

  • Understanding the emotional stages of your divorcing clients
  • Divorcing a narcissist  
  • Domestic violence and divorce
  • Children and Divorce
  • Co-parenting challenges and possible solutions
  • Resources available for you to help your client 



If you are interested in taking our CDS online course please click on the link below. 

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Upcoming CDS™ course dates


In a highly competative market, professionals from various industries including legal, financial, real estate, health and wellness, are choosing to specialize in the divorce arena.  As a result, companies from across the country understand the need to educate their staff so they are better equipped to attract and effectively serve divorcing clients.  CDS™ Certified Trainers are available to facilitate private corporate trainings of all sizes. For more information please email or call 1-800-385-8279.



How does the CDS™ differ from divorce-centered training offered by other providers?

Unlike other certification providers elsewhere, which provide industry-specific divorce credentialing, our CDS program is designed for anyone who provides service to divorcing clients, regardless of their profession.  The CDS program is designed to teach you valuable skills to improve  your client communications and delivers a well-rounded basic understanding of the key issues that arise in the divorce process.   The CDS does not provide any training specific to a profession rather focuses on essential skills  that all can use to improve their client’s experience and their own. 

What is unique about the CDS™ Training?

In addition to various communication tools provided during the training based on cognitive behavioral methodologies, Liz Becker has developed a unique system involving seven stages of the professional/client session cycle. Regardless of what kind of appointment you have with a divorcing client, whether it be the initial consultation or the last meeting, there will always be stages within that cycle that require specific tools to facilitate a more productive experience for both you and your client.   The training is also unique in its holistic overview of the divorce process because it identifies issues that arise in the legal, financial, mental health and residential fields that are often overlooked by those who lack this type of training.  Finally, once you have CDS training and certification, you should be able to recognize issues that might need you to guide your clients differently or might need to  involve professionals in other fields. This is designed to allow you to make timely recommendations and referrals, get your clients the help they need when they need it, and therefore make the process better for them. 

How long is the training?

The live CDS™ training is  is a two-day training from 8:30 - 5:30 daily

If I complete the training and pass the assessment, does that mean I am a divorce expert?

By completing the training and passing the assessment, you will receive a certificate of completion and have the right to use the CDS™ designation in your marketing materials.  While we do not certify you as an “expert,” we do believe that with CDS training you will have access to important information and tools to holistically understand the process and better assist your  divorcing clients. 

If I receive the CDS™ designation can I use it as a stand-alone profession?

CDS™ training is not vocational training and we do not intend for CDS™ to be considered a “profession.” 

CDS™ is a designation that verifies that you have completed the CDS™ training to gain more knowledge of, communication skills for and a holistic approach to the divorce process.

Will I be able to communicate more effectively with my clients immediately after the training?

Just as any other skill, your results will be based on your ability to grasp the information and start putting it into action. You will have received the information needed to improve your communication skills, however, as with any other training, your ability to do so will be up to you.  To be able to see results, you will have to consciously incorporate the tools you will learn into your practice daily. The more you review the materials and practice, the quicker you will notice an improvement.

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International Academy of Divorce Education