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News Categories: Custody, Divorce, Family

7/21: Mediate.com Testimonials Section

Mediate.com is now celebrating our 20th Anniversary! Here are a number of our testimonials from over the years. Our goal from the beginning has been to actively share mediation news, articles and information and to assist mediators and mediation organizations to be as capable as possible online. read


6/29: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner to ‘seek mediation’ after ending their 10-year marriage

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are getting divorced after 10 years. A source close to the couple told People that they intend to ‘seek mediation’ to work through this tough time. read


6/23: What is Divorce Arbitration?

Divorce arbitration occupies a unique position in the growing field of alternate dispute resolution. Let’s start by stating what it is not. It is not mediation where divorcing parties meet with a trained person who will hopefully assist them in achieving a settlement through a process of discussion, negotiation and compromise. Quite simply, some cases call for more than mediation can provide, especially if the parties are less than trustful of each other and a more firm, formal approach is appropriate. read


6/18: Trace Adkins’ Divorce Settled During Mediation

Trace Adkins’ divorce was reportedly settled out of court, during private mediation. The country music superstar’s estranged wife, Rhonda, originally sought a $20 million settlement and full custody of their three daughters. However, the former couple eventually compromised and have reached an amicable agreement. read


6/09: Juvenile Dependency Mediation

Dependency mediation is concerned with any and all issues related to child protection. Dependency mediation is based on a very simple premise: A confidential discussion among the parties may lead to positive results. read


6/09: Elder Mediation Could Soon Become a Staple in Age-Related Care

Mom has Alzheimer's disease, your siblings refuse to talk to one another, and your kids are too busy to lend a helping hand. Somehow, all the caregiving duties have been left to you. What to do? Call an elder mediator. You may not have heard the term before, but, with an aging population, the emerging practice of elder mediation could soon become a staple in age-related care. read


6/01: Strengthening Troubled Sibling Bonds to Deal With an Aging Parent

Unlike traditional psychotherapy, which can take years to unearth entrenched problems, mediation is more focused on the present. The mediator does not advocate the viewpoint of any one person; rather, he or she acts as an impartial third party, helping resolve conflicts in ways that are acceptable to everyone. read


6/01: Dispute over MLK Bible, Nobel prize headed for mediation

A legal battle over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s traveling Bible and 1964 Nobel Peace Prize is headed for court-ordered mediation, and lawyers for both sides said Wednesday they hope for a lasting resolution to issues that have long divided the civil rights icon's heirs. read


5/18: Hospitals, senior communities benefitting from mediation

Two industries that significantly benefit from the mediation boom are hospitals and senior communities. There are a number of significant reasons that these industries are starting to take notice of mediation as a standard practice. read


5/18: To Keep Trusts Private, Estate Planners Avoid Litigation

When you are rich, trusts can help keep everyone from one day knowing just how rich. Of course, trusts serve a lot of other purposes, many of them related to passing wealth along to children and other beneficiaries. And when fights break out over how assets are distributed and to whom, the shield of privacy can start to crack. If a dispute makes it into court, all bets regarding privacy are generally off, estate lawyers say. “If it is going to be litigated, you can’t really protect that trust” from prying eyes, says Nancy Chemtob, an attorney specializing in family law at Chemtob Moss & Forman LLP in New York. read


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John F. Kennedy


Family & Divorce Mediation Articles



Jay Folberg
Mediating Family Property and Estate Conflicts: Keeping the Peace and Preserving Family Wealth (7/22/15)
Jay Folberg
Of all of the cases I have mediated over the past 30 years, the most challenging and rewarding disputes have been those between family members over family property, estates, trusts and businesses.

Donna Duquette
Finding a Maryland Divorce Mediator (7/08/15)
Donna Duquette
If you are thinking about working with a divorce mediator, then this is probably one of the more difficult times in your life. To make matters even more challenging, in the midst of this emotional turmoil you are called upon to make some important family decisions. One of these decisions is how to find a divorce mediator who will be right for you and your spouse. Here are suggestions for finding a divorce mediator in Maryland.


Are You Really Ready for Divorce? The 8 Questions You Need to Ask (7/06/15)
Bruce Derman, Wendy Gregson
This article outlines what couples need to do in order to face the numerous dilemmas that are inherent in divorce. A dilemma implies that you are torn between two choices, each of which have undesirable fearful elements. If people have not resolved their dilemmas before the divorce, they go through the process trying to manage their fear in different ways by hiding their doubt, responsibility; vulnerability, or dependency.

Don Gordon
Solving the Growing Never Married Parent Dilemma for Courts and Divorce Professionals (6/29/15)
Don Gordon
Almost one of every four births today are to unmarried, cohabitating couples. This represents an 80% increase. It used to be that marriage was the norm when pregnancy was involved. Now it is not.


Designing a Successful Parenting Plan (6/17/15)
Don Gordon, Jack Arbuthnot
Here are several important issues you should think about as you design your parenting plan. A child needs the love and affection of both parents, but they also need both as teachers. These roles should override your desire to “own” your children.

Jason Dykstra
Why We Have Different Experiences (6/12/15)
Jason Dykstra
How often does this happen to us? We experience the same action as another person and walk away from the action with a totally different perspective that happened. It happens at staff meetings, conversations with our bosses or employees, and even with our partners and kids.

Dave McDonald
Say it Ain't So, Marge and Homer! (6/12/15)
Dave McDonald
It was leaked recently that Marge and Homer Simpson are soon planning to separate. I guess the divorce rate in Springfield is comparable to the rest of the United States, and with Homer’s continued antics, how can you blame Marge?

Laura Athens
Overcoming Reluctance to Engage in Mediation (6/11/15)
Laura Athens
Many attorneys know and appreciate the benefits of mediation.  Those who are familiar with the benefits of mediation readily propose and eagerly participate in it.  However, should you encounter any resistance, how can it be addressed?

Gary Direnfeld
Separated Parents and the Continuum of Conflict (6/06/15)
Gary Direnfeld
Not all parental separations are alike and not all parental separations spell disaster for their children. The social science research advises that the most salient factor in determining risk for poor developmental outcomes for children subject to parental divorce is the level of conflict between the parents.

Vivian Scott
The Little Things in Our Relationship Won’t Ruin Us (6/06/15)
Vivian Scott
A few months ago Yahoo Style published an item by Sloane Bradshaw that talked about how letting the little things go in her relationship ended her marriage. The headline caught my eye and, as I began to read, I expected to recognize small warning signs in my own relationship.

Lorraine Brennan
A Pregnant Pause: Using ADR to Resolve Pregnancy-Related Workplace Issues (6/06/15)
Lorraine Brennan
A recent case heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, Young v. UPS (issued March 25, 2015), caught the attention of many women and employers as well. In Young, the Court interpreted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), in particular the second clause of that Act, which reads that employers must treat “women affected by pregnancy…the same for all employment-related purposes…as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.” - See more at: http://jamsadrblog.com/2015/06/02/a-pregnant-pause-using-adr-to-resolve-pregnancy-related-workplace-issues/#sthash.wJpiwrSY.dpuf

Belinda Jokinen
Dissolution- Don’t let the Resolve Dissolve (6/06/15)
Belinda Jokinen
I was helping this couple, Jane and John of course, sort out the details of their divorce. The item that was the most difficult to “separate” was the china cabinet. They had invested time, and money, and both had an attachment to it. We were on our 3rd session and they had been able to remain in the same room every time. When we discussed the cabinet they got real snippy so it was time to visit with them separately.

Larry Gaughan
Beyond “Divorce American Style": The Search for a More Responsive Process (6/05/15)
Larry Gaughan
Marriage is a high risk undertaking. Consider the statistics. In recent years the number of marriages each year is just over twice the number of divorces in the same year. So when two adults in their late 20’s – let’s call them Justin and Lisa - decide to get married and have an expensive wedding with all the trimmings, there is a good chance that they will also get divorced. And when they do, it wouldn’t be unusual for their divorce to cost as much as (or more than) their wedding and honeymoon.

Charlie Mulvey
The Family Mediator's New Tool (6/01/15)
Charlie Mulvey
After setting forth the nexus that alcohol abuse and dependence has with both domestic abuse and violence, but also with high conflict parties, then briefly discussing the evolution and technological advances of alcohol detection devices, the Author recommends that every family mediator should be carrying one, both to ensure the safety and security of the mediator and parties, but also as a tool in negotiating child visitation and possession when alcohol abuse or dependence is alleged.

Denise Evans
Would Mediation Help Resolve the Dispute Between Taranaki and Tongariro? (6/01/15)
Denise Evans
The article is about what if ?mediation had been an option in Maori legend as a metaphor for disputes between family members.

Dr. Lynne C. Halem
The Good Divorce (5/22/15)
Dr. Lynne C. Halem
“What is a good divorce?” you ask. “After all, divorce is not a good or a happy event.” Correct you are. Divorce cannot be logically characterized as “good,” if we are referring to the event itself. Divorce is a time of sadness, even regret; it symbolizes the end to dreams once held. “ So,” you ask again,” how can a divorce be good?”

Gary Direnfeld
Differentiating Between Mediation, Med/Arb and Parenting Coordination (5/15/15)
Gary Direnfeld
There are only so many options available for separated parents to settle their parenting disputes in a way that minimizes lawyer involvement. Chief among them are: Mediation; Mediation/Arbitration (Med/Arb); and Parenting Coordination.

Belinda Jokinen
Divorce Mediation is a Waste of Time (5/15/15)
Belinda Jokinen
I’ve heard it so many times. My clients say that mediation won’t work for them. The most common reason they give is that the other party (ie: {exes} spouse or significant other) won’t agree to anything reasonable. The second most common reason given is that they will only do something if forced to by a Judge. Both are absolutely right.

Stephen Erickson
Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead (5/11/15)
Stephen Erickson
Looking back as one of the early professional family Mediators, I believe we are a movement developed out of reaction to the excesses and misadventures of the way divorce was practiced in the early 1970s. Most of the early pioneers I worked with turned to divorce mediation out of frustration with the negative results of adversarial litigated divorce.

Marilyn McKnight
Professional Divorce Mediation and The Future (5/08/15)
Marilyn McKnight
Today it really is a “Back to the Future” for me. Divorce Mediation will become the primary way to divorce. Divorcing families will become healthy and resilient, no longer harmed by adversarial divorce.

Don Cripe
Divorce: Emergency Tumor Removal Surgery (5/01/15)
Don Cripe
Analogizing health care with other emergent situations may be a stretch to some, but it is valid. Couples on the bumpy glide to divorce are almost always in pain; they are facing one of the most dramatic life changes they will ever experience (some social scientists liken divorce to the death of a family member); the finances of the crisis are always a concern; and life after divorce will be disrupted for an indefinite time.

Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
Family Mediation Research: Is There Empirical Support for the Field? (An Update) (4/22/15)
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
The divorce rate began its sharp increase in the early 1960’s and more than doubled by the end of the 1970s.  This was accompanied by dramatic changes in cultural traditions, societal expectations, and divorce and child custody laws which led to increased reliance on the courts to adjudicate separation and divorce disputes, including decisions related to children.

Sherri Donovan
Family Mediation In The Digital Age (4/17/15)
Sherri Donovan
Twenty-first century technology will continue to impact family life and mediation. The family mediator’s awareness of the possible positive and inflammatory influences of the internet, may be instrumental in effectively identifying and resolving the modern family’s disputes. Social media, cyber abuse, the child’s computer voice, the use of a forensic computer expert and the futuristic divorce are factors to be considered in the practice of family mediation.

Mary Novak
Domestic Violence Finding Overrides Agreement to Mediate (4/17/15)
Mary Novak
A case in the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court stands as a reminder of the complexities of family mediation when domestic violence is involved. Indeed, the court found that a finding of domestic violence can trump a requirement to mediate.


Both Textbook and Handbook – Lisa Parkinson’s “Family Mediation” - Book Review (4/10/15)
Lisa Parkinson, Sabine Walsh
Whether for family mediators in particular, or family lawyers in general, Lisa Parkinson’s third edition of ‘Family Mediation’ is the authoritative textbook and guide that no professional adviser in family disputes should be without.

Maria Simpson
Juries of Their Peers (4/10/15)
Maria Simpson
When I was in fourth grade, a few millennia ago, our teacher established a system so we could settle a lot of our own disputes. General mischief-maker, Walter, was elected judge, a decision that completely confounded our teacher, and the class was the jury. We explained our choice of Walter as judge by saying that judges always behave well, and if Walter were judge, he would have to behave better than usual. It was completely logical to us, but I’ll bet the teacher would never have seen that possibility and would have continued to discipline Walter rather than offer opportunity.

Kristen Blankley
How to Make Mediation Safer in Cases of High Conflict (4/10/15)
Kristen Blankley
This article considers issues of safety in mediation. Mediation involves parties in conflict, and safety should be a priority of all mediators. Mediators should be aware of both participant and mediator safety throughout the process. This article considers practical advice for all mediators to consider before, during, and after a mediation session to ensure participant and mediator safety.

John Licciardello
National Divorce Survey Yields Surprising Insights (4/03/15)
John Licciardello
Divorce is as popular as ever in America, with over 50% of first marriages and 70% of second marriages ending prematurely. In addition to traditional litigation couples are increasingly turning to mediation and the “do it yourself” pro se divorce process in the quest to have “successful” divorces as measured by satisfactory settlements, minimal relationship damage and reasonable cost.

Susan Yates
Family Law Arbitration Act (3/31/15)
Susan Yates
People who have been involved with family law are likely to have encountered mediation, especially in child-related issues. But what about arbitration?

Donald T. Saposnek
Book Review: The Master Agreement by Jay Bultz (3/25/15)
Donald T. Saposnek
The Master Agreement offers a comprehensive manual of issues, clauses and phrases for use in drafting Marital Settlement Agreements. The author capably provides a collection of relevant issues and then a multitude of options for clauses to include in your divorce and separation agreements. This book is unique, of very high quality, will save you time and elevate the quality of your drafting.

Peter Salem
The Future of Family Dispute Resolution: Mediation as a Piece of the Puzzle (3/20/15)
Peter Salem
Had I written about the future of family dispute resolution in the late 1980s, when I was a young and enthusiastic child custody mediator working for a Wisconsin family court agency, I would probably have focused exclusively on mediation rather than considering the current broad spectrum of family dispute resolution (FDR) processes that I did not anticipate at the time.

Dan Simon
Minnesota Considers Moving Divorce out of Court (3/13/15)
Dan Simon
“In our culture, court means contest – it means a fight. . . we’ve culturally viewed divorce as a battle” says Bill Doherty. Doherty says that, no matter how well-intentioned the lawyers, the assumption that judicial supervision is needed greatly increases the risk of destructive conflict arising. Doherty believes that, very often, couples who get divorced without the help of lawyers do better than they would with lawyers. Doherty’s plan takes divorce entirely outside the courts.

Lisa Parkinson
Family Mediation - Preface (3/12/15)
Lisa Parkinson
The Children and Families Act 2014 is focusing more attention on the role of family mediation in the family justice system. Family mediators have been given greater responsibility to encourage consideration of non-court dispute resolution processes before application is made to the family court, and to assess the suitability of mediation in particular circumstances.

Phyllis Pollack
“Good Faith” vs. “Naive Realism”? (3/06/15)
Phyllis Pollack
Perhaps I am an idealist, or even though a baby boomer with many years of litigation experience behind me— a bit naïve. Or –perhaps it is because I am a mediator and so am privy to both sides of the dispute and can see the “story” as an outsider or bystander. I do not know.

Laurie Israel
Where Does Marital Mediation Fit In? (3/02/15)
Laurie Israel
During the past quarter century, academics and others writing about mediation have characterized styles of mediation as belonging to one of three categories: “facilitative,” “evaluative,” and “transformative”. The categories are quite clearly defined.

Henry Brown
Musings on Mediators, Pizza-Makers, and Humanity (3/02/15)
Henry Brown
I began this article on the future of mediation practice at what I thought, reasonably enough, was the beginning. Discussing how I came to New York in 1985 to train with John Haynes on a new approach to managing disputes that at that time had not yet found its way to the United Kingdom where I practised as a solicitor. However, In the course of writing and reviewing this piece, it began to dawn on me that while the trip was my conscious recollection of the beginning, it was not the actual beginning of my attraction, engagement and investment in what has become a personally and professionally fulfilling career.

Sandra Untrojb
The Future of Mediation: Teens and Technology (3/01/15)
Sandra Untrojb
Preparation for the future of mediation needs to focus on who will be using mediation and how. The audience in 20 years will have different expectations than the audience of today.

Stacy Roberts
5 Tips to Prepare for Mediation (3/01/15)
Stacy Roberts
Utah mediator Stacy Roberts shares her suggestions on how to prepare for the best possible mediation experience. Enjoy this video.

Larry Gaughan
Mediating Divorce Agreements: The Problems and the Potential (2/26/15)
Larry Gaughan
It was really exciting to be part of the divorce mediation movement when it became national around 1980. Almost everyone seemed to be aware of the problems with the adversarial system of divorce, and mediation held the promise of a process that was more personal and far less expensive and time consuming. Mediation training was mainly focused on divorce agreements, and those training courses rapidly became a major source of income for the trainers.

Beth Graham
Federal Judge Orders Sugar Land Nursing Home Visitation Dispute to Mediation (2/20/15)
Beth Graham
A Sugar Land nursing home dispute that arose after an elderly resident’s family was banned from a long-term care facility over a number of social media posts has reportedly been ordered to mediation. According to a complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas, Silverado Senior Living barred a woman’s two sons and daughter-in-law from the premises after the individuals refused to remove several photos and videos of their mother at the facility from their social media accounts.

Mary Novak
Court ADR Trends for 2015 (2/17/15)
Mary Novak
Last year perhaps the most visible trend in court ADR was the courts’ use of mediation to address truly large-scale crises. From the mediators who helped opposing groups reach the Grand Bargain that led Detroit out of bankruptcy, to the mediations being used to address thousands of insurance claims that remain from Hurricane Sandy, courts essentially created ad-hoc ADR programs to respond to major crises.

Jennifer Winestone
Best Interests and Little Voices: Child Participation in the Family Mediation Dialogue (1/17/15)
Jennifer Winestone
This article examines the circumstances in which the child's perspective and inclusion is appropriate in divorce mediation and provides guidelines for achieving a safe inclusion process.

Nina Meierding
Looking to the Future: Is There Still A Place For Proactive, Early Intervention Mediation in Our Changing Field? (1/13/15)
Nina Meierding
In the author's experience as a mediator in over 4,000 cases and in almost thirty years of working with advocates, consulting attorneys, and collaborative lawyers, she believes that all forms of mediation are valuable processes which each have their place in helping parties move forward in their conflicts. She takes no position on the "best" process, only that self-determination remains the ultimate goal of any form of mediation. She is hopeful that mediators, participants, and attorneys will re-examine the trend of late intervention, lawyer-centric mediation and bring pro-active, early mediation back as one of the important focuses of the mediation field.

Joe Markowitz
Selma (1/09/15)
Joe Markowitz
Was there ever an opportunity for peaceful resolution of this civil rights conflict? We see President Johnson acting at times a little bit like a mediator between King and Governor Wallace, but no real attempt was made at creating a dialogue that could resolve the dispute.

Robyn McDonald
The Critical Role of Mediation in Bridging the Access to Justice Gap (1/09/15)
Robyn McDonald
For more than a decade, Colorado has worked to provide access to justice (ATJ) for its indigent and modest means citizenry. Despite efforts by the bar and the courts, the state continues to struggle in its pursuit. What has been so often overlooked, however, is how mediation provides the courts and litigants an affordable, efficient option to resolving many disputes.

Cris Pastore
Alimony in PA: Friend or Foe in Divorce? (1/09/15)
Cris Pastore
Alimony has become the "black sheep" of divorce law, often viewed as evil, spiteful and punitive. In my opinion, these perceptions are greatly misguided. I see alimony as entirely moral and appropriate, but only when it is necessary. Read my article to understand why.

Maria Eugenia Sole
Violencia Familiar y ODR - Video en Espanol (1/07/15)
Maria Eugenia Sole
¿Cómo podemos definir la violencia familiar? En primer lugar, podemos decir que la violencia familiar o violencia doméstica es cualquier forma de abuso entre los miembros de una misma familia, de un miembro a otro miembro. Este abuso generalmente causa un daño físico o psicológico a este miembro de la familia.


The Future of Mediation in Different Sectors (1/05/15)
Elinor Robin, Susan Dubow
Mediation has come a long way in the last 4 decades since it was endorsed, but this article examines all of the areas in which mediation still needs to grow.

Tammy Lenski
4 Tips for a Stress-Free New Years (12/26/14)
Tammy Lenski
The holidays can be a cheerful time — with plenty of work, it seems. But with loads of family smashed into tiny spaces, many find themselves feeling less than jolly. Lashing out is common around the holidays. But Dr. Tammy Lenski, a conflict resolution trainer and author of The Conflict Pivot: Turning Conflict into Peace of Mind, has a few tips for keeping your gathering from turning into a war zone.

Phyllis Pollack
Giving Yourself Permission (12/26/14)
Phyllis Pollack
The holidays are upon us, and with them come the usual stress and tension that family events often bring. Over Thanksgiving, I had an experience that put it in perspective for me. Although I am supposed to be the conflict resolution person, it was a cousin that gave me a very much needed "reality check", if not "permission" to think differently about family loyalty.

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