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Divorce Mediation: The Best Forum for Families with Special Needs Children
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 08/21/2015
Families who have children with special needs constitute a significant percentage of the divorced population. Children, all children, present a mixed blessing. Some times they may help to save a marriage; other times they add to the stresses of daily living in ways that parents are not able to handle.
Finding a Maryland Divorce Mediator
Donna Duquette 07/08/2015
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.
Solving the Growing Never Married Parent Dilemma for Courts and Divorce Professionals
Don Gordon 06/29/2015
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.
Beyond “Divorce American Style": The Search for a More Responsive Process
Larry Gaughan 06/05/2015
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.
The Good Divorce
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 05/22/2015
“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?”
Divorce Mediation is a Waste of Time
Belinda Jokinen 05/15/2015
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.
Professional Divorce Mediation and The Future
Marilyn McKnight 05/08/2015
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.
Divorce: Emergency Tumor Removal Surgery
Don Cripe 05/01/2015
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.
National Divorce Survey Yields Surprising Insights
John Licciardello 04/03/2015
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.
Minnesota Considers Moving Divorce out of Court
Dan Simon 03/13/2015
“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.
Mediating Divorce Agreements: The Problems and the Potential
Larry Gaughan 02/26/2015
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.
Alimony in PA: Friend or Foe in Divorce?
Cris Pastore 01/09/2015
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.
10 Tips for Choosing the Right Divorce Mediator
Cris Pastore 11/14/2014
Perhaps you've come to the realization that divorce mediation is the way to go for you and your spouse, but how do you choose a divorce mediator? After all, not all divorce mediators are created equal.
The Shocking Cost of Divorce in PA
Cris Pastore 10/31/2014
The added expense of living in two separate households may be obvious in a divorce case, but have you also budgeted for the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer to go to court? Read this article to gain a full understanding of the fees associated with a divorce lawyer and understand why divorce mediation may the better option for you.
Editorial Notes on Divorce Mediation Future
Clare Fowler 10/23/2014
This page includes editorial notes on the future of the divorce and family mediation sector.
When You Might Need Mediation After Divorce
Cris Pastore 10/13/2014
When the divorce mediation process succeeds, spouses and their families often report a tremendous benefit from having chosen the option. However, there are still times when ex-spouses, even if they remain amicable after divorce, may need post-divorce mediation.
Divorce Mediation Sessions: What Goes on Behind Closed Doors
Cris Pastore 09/26/2014
If you are considering using divorce mediation as the option for your separation or divorce, you might find it helpful to understand what is actually discussed in the mediation room.
6 Major Mistakes to Avoid in a Do-It-Yourself Divorce
Cris Pastore 09/05/2014
Although spouses claim to have everything worked out, they almost always fail to consider some very important details. Read this article and learn the 6 common mistakes to avoid when attempting to resolve your own divorce.
Using the 17 Factors of Alimony in PA in Divorce Mediation
Cris Pastore 08/15/2014
Curious about how alimony is determined in Pennsylvania? Read this comprehensive article and learn about alimony and about the 17 factors the court considers in determining it.
GPS and Divorce Mediation
Bruce Provda 07/07/2014
GPS systems are starting to make their way into divorce proceedings. When infidelity is suspected, being able to produce digital confirmation of an spouse’s movements can provide powerful ammunition and lay a strong foundation for the remainder of the mediation process.
A Song of Loss for Divorce Mediators
Richard Barbieri 06/30/2014
I was recently asked to give a presentation in an advanced seminar on Mediating with Families in Transition. I thought at first of the many film scenes that I have previously utilized, from the opening of Wedding Crashers to The War of the Roses. I then realized that most of my artistic experience of lost love comes through music, rather than film, and so I prepared a new presentation based on favorite songs about the effects of divorce.
Post-Divorce Blues: Unresolved Issues and New Problems Unsettle Divorced Spouses
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 06/13/2014
Months, even years, of haggling and anxiety were finally at an end. A new beginning was in the offering. Yet the initial relief, may be filled with sadness, and may well be short-lived. Divorced couples are often faced with agreements that do little to help them navigate an evolving, and even rocky, future. Mediation provides an agreement which is clear and specific as to beginning points and ends, as to the details of property, support, and the children, including education, death, and taxes, provides insurance for protecting couples from the surprises of tomorrow. agreement which is clear and specific as to beginning points and ends, as to the details of property, support, and the children, including education, death, and taxes, provides insurance for protecting couples from the surprises of tomorrow.
Mediating Your Divorce? Do You Still Need an Attorney?
Joy Rosenthal 05/23/2014
Reviewing or consulting attorneys are crucial to the divorce mediation process. This article explains why, and helps readers know how to find the right attorney for the job.
Parenting, Mediation, and Divorce: Meeting the Needs of Our Children
Shannon Rios Paulsen 05/16/2014
Children are a huge source of love in our lives; they can say one sentence, bring a huge smile to our face, and remind us of the innocence of childhood. Children all deserve that time of play, laughter, and fun as they grow up. This article addresses what parents and other loved ones can do for children before, during and after a divorce. You can take this information and pass it along or decide to be mentor or positive role model for the children yourself.
Issues with Children in Divorce
Richard Gordon 05/09/2014
Divorce is complicated enough. When children are also part of the mix, there are several unique considerations the parents need to make.
Children, Divorce, and Dating
Shannon Rios Paulsen 04/15/2014
In my role as a counselor for children of divorce, my focus is the children. Parents made a decision to divorce and they also made a decision to have children. It is my view that they must do all things possible to mitigate the effects of the divorce on their children. The question about dating arises in every session of “Co-parenting Through Your Divorce” that I facilitate. This article addresses this question for parents of divorce and for those who are dating others who are divorced with children.
I'm Heading for Divorce--What Should I Do?
Rachel Virk 03/21/2014
You want out. Your marriage is no longer happy. You just need to know the correct process for telling your spouse in a safe and respectful way, and know what are the appropriate steps to take.
Compassionate or Benevolent Divorce
Roger Ley 02/21/2014
This is an essay on compassionate divorce and the role of lawyers in the divorce or dispute resolution process.  For the parties, the core of my system is to negotiate for the welfare of both sides.  For the lawyers, the core is to throw away the law books and let imagination help the lawyers find creative resolutions to their cases.
5 Ways That Divorce Mediation Can Help Resolve the 'Get' Crisis
Morghan Leia Richardson 02/07/2014
Without the religious divorce, Leah would not be able to remarry -- or even date -- in her community. Her life was on hold, tied to her ex -- at his whim. And she is not alone. This article discusses the conflict that many in religious communities are trying to resolve.
Demystifying American Divorce Law
Larry Gaughan 01/24/2014
The misconception that there may be a fixed "legal" solution for many mediated divorce cases has created unnecessary difficulties in communication between mediators of different professions. A proper understanding of how the formal system of divorce law works (and often doesn't work) may help to bridge these gaps. This article is intended to enable mediators who are not attorneys to be more comfortable with some useful concepts and guidelines inside the legal box. It is also intended to enable mediators who are lawyers to expand the scope of their skills and knowledge into the important areas of divorce settlements outside of the legal box.
Elder Divorce Mediation
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 01/17/2014
As the remaining baby boomers turn 50 this year, we continue to see a significant increase in divorce and separation among the general population of those in that 50-plus age bracket.
Does Divorce Mediation Work?
Brietta Mengel 01/11/2014
This article is a pictograph that illustrates visually the changing percentage of divorce in the US.
Are You Really Ready for Divorce? The 8 Questions You Need to Ask
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.
Sometimes You Need to Give Them Reasons to Mediate
Jeff Murphy 08/08/2015
So you would like to mediate your divorce, but you think you’ll have a hard time convincing your spouse to go along. I’m assuming he or she is ready to end the marriage as well and having a conversation about how to do it won’t be a surprise.
Designing a Successful Parenting Plan
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.
Say it Ain't So, Marge and Homer!
Dave McDonald 06/12/2015
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?
Separated Parents and the Continuum of Conflict
Gary Direnfeld 06/06/2015
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.
Dissolution- Don’t let the Resolve Dissolve
Belinda Jokinen 06/06/2015
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.
The Family Mediator's New Tool
Charlie Mulvey 06/01/2015
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.
Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead
Stephen Erickson 05/11/2015
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.
Family Mediation Research: Is There Empirical Support for the Field? (An Update)
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. 04/22/2015
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.
Domestic Violence Finding Overrides Agreement to Mediate
Mary Novak 04/17/2015
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.
Family Mediation In The Digital Age
Sherri Donovan 04/17/2015
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.
Both Textbook and Handbook – Lisa Parkinson’s “Family Mediation” - Book Review
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.
How to Make Mediation Safer in Cases of High Conflict
Kristen Blankley 04/10/2015
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.
Family Law Arbitration Act
Susan Yates 03/31/2015
People who have been involved with family law are likely to have encountered mediation, especially in child-related issues. But what about arbitration?
Book Review: The Master Agreement by Jay Bultz
Donald T. Saposnek 03/25/2015
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.
Where Does Marital Mediation Fit In?
Laurie Israel 03/02/2015
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.
Best Interests and Little Voices: Child Participation in the Family Mediation Dialogue
Jennifer Winestone 01/17/2015
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.
6 Reasons You Need a Prenup
Bruce Provda 12/19/2014
Many divorces happen because of financial problems. A prenup forces both parties to look at — and reveal — their financial picture. An open discussion about finance may help to build a firm foundation for marriage.
Utilizing Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for Co-parenting Issues in Families with a History of Domestic Violence
Maria Eugenia Sole 12/17/2014
This video discusses family mediation, domestic violence, and online dispute resolution. Maria Eugenia Sole discusses that different cultures have different definitions--with different understandings of what should be tolerated and what requires help. She also discusses different steps that can help.
Themes in Mediation
Michael Scott 11/10/2014
Hidden beneath the arguments of a couple in mediation there is a repeating theme. The argument is like Joseph’s coat of many colors. Each disagreement on the surface appears to be about something different, like one of the many colors on the coat. Under the coat, however, there is only Joseph, who remains mostly unchanged.
Reflections on Everything is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution
Doris Tennant 10/31/2014
Everything is Workable (Shambhala, 2013) is Hamilton’s book about how to live consciously in a world sated with conflicts. She acknowledges that learning conflict skills asks something of us: “The more intimate we become with human suffering, the greater our compulsion to serve others.”
Dividing Stuff
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 10/24/2014
Most people do not think of their household belongings as assets. It is, after all, just “stuff”. Except, that is, if asked to view the stuff as property subject to division in divorce. Then, suddenly, even the smallest or most insignificant items are seen in a whole new light, indeed take on a whole new value.
When Trust is Broken
Meredith Richardson 10/13/2014
Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship? This can be one of the hardest questions to answer.
Creating A Foundation for Cohabitation
Halee Burg 10/03/2014
You are in a committed relationship. You and your significant other desire to live together but are not ready for or interested in marriage. You decide to rent or purchase a property together, or to move into a place one of you currently rents or owns. You are in good company, joining over eight million cohabiting couples in the United States.
Is Mediating Prenups a Form of Marital Mediation?
Laurie Israel 09/19/2014
I have been noticing a trend in my practice lately: the first draft of prenuptial agreements generally sketched out a marriage with no guaranteed financial interplay.
Law Professor Transformed
Dan Simon 09/05/2014
Professor Sherry Colb, who teaches criminal procedure and evidence at Cornell Law School, took a training in transformative mediation this spring and it blew her mind. You can read the full text of the article she wrote about it here. In her article Colb explains the fundamentally different assumptions that underly the legalistic paradigm as compared to the transformative paradigm. Here are a dozen of the insights that the training inspired in her:
Understanding Each Party’s Power in Family Mediation-Arbitration: Why it is Critical
Hilary Linton 07/25/2014
A recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision illustrates the need for clearer guidelines for “screening for power imbalances and domestic violence”, a mandatory component of Ontario family arbitration. It also demonstrates the benefits for parties, lawyers and arbitrators in understanding that some methods of screening are more effective than others; and in ensuring that screening is done in accordance with the best practices before the mediation in a mediation-arbitration.
Mediated Prenuptial Agreements Benefit Couples and Mediators
Michael Toebe 05/02/2014
The romance might be lacking in the thought and decision making but there might be relational wisdom in pursuing mediated prenuptial agreements and valuable marketing awareness as a byproduct for mediators. Couples often spend significant time planning a wedding, buying a house and cars, financial planning and how to best raise children, so a question that begs asking is why don't most marrying partners plan for better outcomes in the event a marriage eventually dissolves?
Being Heard: Mental and Verbal Strategies for Getting Your Point Across
Judy Ringer 04/25/2014
We all want to be heard. It's gratifying, empowering, and makes us feel valued. And in a difference of opinion, we want our side to be represented. We want others to get who we are and to hear our valid arguments, even if they don't agree with us–though, of course, we'd like that to happen as well.
Guide to Negotiating Children's Internet Habits Between Shared Households
Caroline Knorr 04/25/2014
Different rules at different households makes life confusing for children. This article provides a guide for parents so they can have an objective standard for determining internet safety policies for their children.
The Five Stages
Phyllis Pollack 04/18/2014
In 2000, when I took my first mediation training class, my teacher discussed the five stages of loss and grief first proposed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. The particular training course I was attending focused on divorce mediations and so the stages were relevant because of the loss and grief suffered by the parties in a divorce.
Litigation, Negotiation, Collaboration, or Mediation--Should I Work It Out or Fight It Out?
Rachel Virk 04/17/2014
This article is an excerpt from Rachel Virk's book "The Four Ways of Divorce." This section examines the reasons why people choose different options for ending their marriage, and what are possible outcomes from those options.
3 Misconceptions About Using Collaborative Law in Employment Disputes
Michael A. Zeytoonian 02/28/2014
Over 2013, we heard a few reasons from employers and companies for why they would forego using Collaborative Law – a much more efficient dispute resolution process than litigation – and opt for litigation or arbitration instead.
Third Party Assisted Negotiation and High Pressure Settlement of Disputes
Rachel Virk 02/21/2014
After twenty years of marriage, two parties separate. They are each college educated and gainfully employed. The parties have two children whom they hope to send to college, ages 13 and 15. They have amassed many assets during their marriage. This articles discusses how our current legal system does not have an effective way of dividing the mutually valued sum of these two people's lives.
How Much Is That Doggie In The Living-room Window?
Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton 02/14/2014
Roger Caras’ famous quote, ”Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole,” speaks volumes when it comes to divorcing couples and their pet. The human animal bond enhances our lives by its presence, but also makes divorce mediations complex.
Marital Mediation is Not Therapy
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 02/14/2014
Mediation is not therapy. Mediation is a problem solving process in which the three participants, husband, wife, mediator, determine the issues to be tackled, what information is needed to embark on the process and what were the objectives to be gained.
Whose Fault Is It?
Shannon Rios Paulsen 02/07/2014
When parents are arguing, children are typically caught in the middle. The children try to figure out who is at fault and what they can do to stop it. This article suggests that what children need is not a place to assign blame, but a place of peace.
Mediate is Top Ranked Mediation Website 02/04/2014 is ranked the top mediation and dispute resolution website by Alexa in its February 1, 2014 global website rankings. In business since 1996, has over 15,000 searchable mediation articles, blog posts, news items and videos. also hosts the most used mediator directory and offers mobile friendly website development, professional promotional services and cloud-based case management systems.
Revisiting Neutrality in Mediation
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. 01/24/2014
What is the most basic and primary characteristic of good mediation? Neutrality! Imagine asking your clients, “Why would you come here, to sit in this room and have your spouse and me gang up on you?”
The Parents Left Standing
Shannon Rios Paulsen 01/23/2014
There are many different scenarios where parents leave the life of their child. This article goes over some of these scenarios, as well as what to say to a young child, such as the parent is learning to be a better parent and person and having your child write a letter to or draw a picture for the other parent. Remember you chose to have your children, please continue to choose them. I can tell you that adults are much less forgiving than children.
Is Collaborative Law a Good Fit for You?
Dick Price 01/11/2014
Adryenn Cantor, a San Diego, CA attorney included an excellent list of five questions for people to ask themselves to determine if they are a good candidate for using Collaborative Law in a divorce case.
REVIEW of Ellen Bruno’s DVD, “SPLIT: Divorce Through Kids’ Eyes”
Donald T. Saposnek 11/26/2013
Ellen Bruno’s new film, Split takes us to a whole new level in understanding the effects of divorce on children. The movie is 28 minutes long and consists 100% of interviews of real children (no adults were harmed used in the making of this film) telling about their experiences going through their parents’ divorces. I strongly encourage you to view this lovely film and discover ways to integrate it into your work of supporting families going through divorce.
Why Couples Are Choosing Mediation in Divorce Cases
Bruce Provda 11/04/2013
If you are contemplating a divorce or having trouble settling divorce issues with your spouse, mediation might be the best choice. Mediation is a great setting for you and your spouse to settle your divorce issues in a more amicable fashion with less stress on you and other family members, including your children. Being able to settle issues quickly helps children and other family members adjust to the situation as well.
Washington Shutdown and Divorce Mediation
Jeff Murphy 10/04/2013
Most of us who are trained mediators learned the process of “Principled Negotiation”. It’s the theory behind Roger Fisher and William Ury’s Great work -”Getting To Yes”. It teaches how to negotiate without compromising principles but by examining each parties’ positions and exploring the underlying needs and interests to create options that can help reach fair and equitable solutions and settlements.
Virtually Everyone is Touched in Some Way By Divorce
Rachel Virk 08/16/2013
Understand that although your marriage is ending, you have every right to hold on to the memories of the good times and of the good years. They were good, and nothing can take that away. It is not that parts of you are being torn away or destroyed, but rather the divorce experience, and the self-knowledge you gain, will help to define and develop the whole person you are becoming.
The Varying Roles of the Mental Health Professional in Divorce
Rachel Virk 07/25/2013
This article discusses ways in which a mental health professional may be involved in the resolution of divorce – whether through mediation, collaboration, negotiation or litigation.  To best serve the needs of the client, and to protect his or her interests, it is essential for the mental health provider to understand the context in which the conflict is being addressed.
How Children Cope with High Conflict Divorce: How are they harmed and what can parents do to help them?
Bob Livingstone 06/06/2013
A high conflict divorce is where marriage ends and war begins. Children are frequently unwittingly used as pawns in this high stakes, emotionally bloody demolition. Kids find different ways to cope in a system that includes children and two parents who absolutely despise each other. This is a hatred that doesn’t ease up over the passing of time; no these bitter feelings tend to increase and escalate as the years go by.
5 Tips for Co-Parenting After Divorce
Allison Pescosolido 05/28/2013
Divorce affects the whole family. It causes parents to worry about children in ways they never thought they would. As the relationship between a couple change from souse to ex, so does the parenting relationship.
The Family Business in Divorce: Issues for Mediators
Jeffrey Fink 05/28/2013
There are millions of family businesses in the US. Even a buzz-word, “copreneurs,” has been coined to describe couples who work together.  Unfortunately, with up to half of all marriages ending in divorce, a significant number of these businesses will end up as a football to be tossed around between squabbling spouses. 
The Gray Divorce
Denise Tamir 05/25/2013
Though the fact that divorce has become more common and less of a stigma has some impact, that does not explain why the gray divorce rate is climbing while the general divorce rate is going down. Denise Tamir suggests a few contributing factors.
I'm Heading for Divorce. How do I Start?
Rachel Virk 04/22/2013
This article walks through the divorce process for someone who is just beginning to consider a divorce. It gives a practical guide for people to navigate through the process without an emotional roller coaster.
Facing a Divorce Later in Life?
Dick Price 03/29/2013
It has become noticeable that Baby Boomers and even older people are starting to experience a significant number of divorces. Couples married for 20 to 40 years are getting divorced.
How to Start a Collaborative Divorce
Dick Price 01/25/2013
Since Collaborative Law is still relatively new, many people may feel unsure about how to start the process. It's actually very simple.
Four Keys to Successfully Mediating Temporary Orders in a Divorce Case
Scott Morgan 01/25/2013
This article offers tips from a practicing divorce attorney on how to effectively mediate temporary orders terms in a divorce case. Scott Morgan offers his thoughts on how to prepare the case for mediation, necessary preparation of the client for mediation, how to negotiate terms intelligently, and the proper mindset the attorney should have.
Ten Commandments of Divorce
Donna Martini 01/18/2013
This article is an excerpt from the book, Ten Commandments of Divorce. This article encourages people going through a divorce to take the time to move slowly, act with respect, and create a safe space for their children.
What are the Biggest Mistakes Divorced Parents Make?
Lorraine Segal 01/11/2013
While parents are divorcing and after they are divorced, they are often overwhelmed by all the changes in their lives. They may be filled with guilt, blame, rage, or grief. Though they, of course, love their children, it may be a huge challenge to manage emotions and conflict with their ex in a way that helps their children move through the changes and feel loved and secure.
Can Divorce Mediation Be Used in All Circumstances?
Lisa Nelson 01/11/2013
The article describes three situations where divorce mediation is not likely to be effective, and why.
Tips for Better Communication During a Divorce
Dick Price 01/04/2013
In any divorce, things get heated occasionally (or more often). In Collaborative divorces, the parties can still feel considerable stress. It is an emotional experience. Sometimes, parties will react emotionally, in anger, and that is regrettable. Here are some quick tips to help maintain a constructive relationship between the parties.
Reducing Stress Through Divorce Mediation
Nancy Tran 01/04/2013
This article discusses the ways in which mediation can help to reduce the stress that couples undergoing divorce may experience. By creating a cooperative atmosphere, reducing the time that divorce proceedings take, and lessening the financial burden of a divorce, mediated divorce may be the perfect solution for couples looking to amicably end their marriage.
Five Steps Divorced Parents Can Take to Cool Down Holiday Conflict
Lorraine Segal 12/21/2012
We all have idealized images of the holiday season–perfect gifts and the warm glow of togetherness. But the gap between expectations and reality can be huge when parents are recently divorced, and grief, anger, and bitterness can intensify holiday stress.
Using the TKI Tool for Divorce Mediation
Ralph Kilmann 10/26/2012
Ralph Kilmann discusses applying the TKI instrument to family and divorce mediations. The key is using the instrument to helping couples from competitive to distributive bargaining.
Support for Men in Divorce
Paula Lawhon 10/12/2012
A while back, I posted a link to a support group which focuses on helping women through the difficult transition of divorce or separation (although they also work with men). This is my belated follow up link for a support group which focuses on helping men through this same difficult transition (although he also works with women).
Antidote for Divorce is to Nip it in the Bud
Mary Aderibigbe 10/12/2012
This article demonstrates through a case that divorce could be averted if properly managed at the source. It started with an issue which could over time degenerate or escalate to a point that it threatens the relationship. It is evident that every disagreement has a potential of causing a breakup. The solution is to resolve challenges as they arise to keep a marriage strong.
The Shalom Bayit Divorce
Denise Tamir 10/01/2012
Shalom Bayit, literally "peace in the home," is the Jewish imperative to maintain a respectful and harmonious household. The values of Shalom Bayit may be applied to the manner in which a husband and wife, who for whatever reason have decided their marriage can not be saved, make their way through the divorce process.
How to Ask for Help: Get into the Divorce Talk Comfort Zone
Andra Brosh 09/21/2012
This is Part One of the “How to Ask for Help” series. It will get you comfortable enough with yourself and others to ask for help. Once you’re in the zone, you’ve won half the battle. Actually, equally key in the process is helping those you are asking for help get comfortable and receptive to your needs.
Review of "Splitting America: How Politicians, Super PACS and the News Media Mirror High Conflict Divorce
Michael Scott 08/28/2012
Saposnek and Eddy offer an interesting and insightful perspective of the current American political landscape. This book offers a highly descriptive explanation of conflict, easily understood on the micro level of the dynamic between divorcing couples, which is then transposed onto the macro level of our two major political parties that are unable to resolve conflict.
How to “Divorce Proof” Your Marriage
Andra Brosh 08/20/2012
Criticisms are hard to shake; they echo in the mind and tend to become negative self-talk. On the other hand, most people have a tough time actually hearing compliments. Make a habit of complementing your spouse at least once a day. At first he or she might find the practice unusual or strange, but soon it will become a natural part of a loving and nurturing routine.
Collaborative Divorce
Gary Direnfeld 08/06/2012
This article explains some of the specifics of the collaborative process for divorcing couples. It discusses who will be involved and who is subject to the collaborative policies.
A Divorce Lawyer's Suggestions For Mediators
Scott Morgan 05/06/2012
This article offers advice from a practicing divorce attorney to mediators who are handling divorce cases. He offers his thoughts on how to best resolve difficult divorce cases. Addressed are issues such as whether there should be any limitations as to the parties being allowed to “vent,” whether joint sessions are helpful in divorce mediations, how to handle the situation when one side claims they are not able to settle because they are missing information, and whether potential court outcomes should be discussed.
The Secret Language Divorce Lawyers Speak
Laurie Israel 04/23/2012
Lawyers often use idioms rather than legal terms to explain concepts and strategies in divorce law to our clients. Somehow, these idiomatic terms are more descriptive and powerful in describing the dynamics and techniques that are present in a divorce than any other type of language.
Do Children Fare Better in a Mediated or Litigated Divorce?
Howard Chusid 03/05/2012
Sometimes, parents think that only they are getting divorced and the children aren't adult enough to merit being heard. This is a major mistake that may fester and manifest into problems in the future. Poor grades at school, stomach aches, missing school days, getting up late, not listening to teachers, alcohol and drug use are just some of the ways that children and adults react to the stress and acrimony of divorce.
Divorce (In Itself) Does Not Pose Risk For Children
Andra Brosh 01/01/2012
“It is not divorce in itself that can lead to problems in children. It is the divorce linked to interparental conflict, a lack of co-parenting, an unsuitable family climate, etc.,” according to Priscila Comino, a researcher at the University of the Basque Country’s (UPV/EHU) Faculty of Psychology.
The Basics of Collaborative Family Law - A Divorce Paradigm Shift
Sherri Goren Slovin 06/24/2012
Collaborative Family Law (CFL) is a revolutionary approach to divorce that has quickly spread throughout the United States and Canada. Often misunderstood and occasionally maligned, it has the potential to dramatically change the field of family law.
Using Your Mediation Skills to Survive New Years' Parties
Jason Dykstra 12/27/2013
Ah yes….the season is here. Maybe it’s even already started for you; Work parties, family gatherings, functions with friends, and on and on. It’s a festive season, lots of food, drinks, and maybe even some presents here and there. Sing songs, drink spiked hot chocolate, eggnog, the act of giving, family traditions, Christmas trees and lights, etc, etc, etc. You get the point. It’s a happy time of year.
Family Violence and ODR
Maria Eugenia Sole 12/23/2013
While conflict is inevitable and inherent to the family, violence is an inadequate manifestation of tensions and conflicts that goes beyond the capacity of response of individuals, due to serious situations of psycho-emotional, sociocultural or economic limitations. In this sense, violence is the extreme manifestation of the constraints to which families are subjected.
Managing Media with Your Ex this Holiday Season
Caroline Knorr 12/20/2013
Two homes doesn't have to mean a double standard on media rules. Keep the peace with these smart strategies. Both kids and parents will be happy.
Breaking Bad: The Decision To Change Holiday Traditions
Patricia Porter 12/13/2013
Breaking away from family traditions during the holiday season can be difficult. Regardless of the reason or the explanation given to your family, friends or spouse, it rarely goes well. Why is that? The fact is that traditions are traditions for a reason.
Mediation and CollabLaw
Oran Kaufman 12/13/2013
What is the difference between mediation and collaborative law? Couples going through divorce today fortunately have many more options available to them to finalize their divorce. Choosing the right approach involves knowing and understanding the differences between approaches.
The Real Christmas Gift for Kids
Gary Direnfeld 12/13/2013
Even though parents argue as to the best residential schedule, choice of school, faith, holiday time, Christmas and extra-curricular activities, these issues are simply not as predictive for the wellbeing of children as conflict alone.
Parent Conflict After Separation: Taking a Closer Look
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. 11/27/2013
High conflict is often described as the most damaging factor in the post-separation adjustment of children and adolescents. High conflict that continues in the years after separation is indeed a major risk factor for children’s longer-term well-being. However, more recent research has demonstrated that it is only one of several important factors creating risk and potential detriment. The quality of parenting after separation and divorce, for example, is now recognized as equally important, if not more so, because competent and warm parenting acts as a protective barrier against the effects of high conflict.
Mediating in Cases in Domestic Violence – Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Sabine Walsh 11/08/2013
The question of whether, and how, to mediate with couples who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence or abuse has challenged and divided mediation professionals for many years now without consensus on how to handle such cases having been reached. Domestic abuse can be a contra-indicator for mediation for a number of reasons, mainly however that it is likely to compromise the equality of bargaining power, the free interaction with and the voluntary participation in mediation.
Eliminating “Hot Speech” in Marriage
Laurie Israel 11/04/2013
Anger is not a good thing. It’s not a good way to solve problems. By taking a timeout, you can become calm. You are no longer in “real” time. Emotions abate.
Ten Tips for Developing and Drafting Effective Parenting Plans in Mediation
Donald T. Saposnek 10/31/2013
A mediation process that is thoughtful, respectful, and paced to fit the communication style and needs of the parents will increase the chances of crafting a clear and comprehensive parenting plan. Such a process offers a supportive and cooperative context, promotes direct communication between the parents, empowers the parents to make their own decisions, remains sensitive to their unique couple dynamics, and maximizes a tone of flexibility for future modifications to their agreement. While this context is very important, even more is needed to develop an effective parenting plan. The following ten tips will ensure a well-drafted product.
A Child’s Best Interest Comes Second to Mediation Finality: In re Lee
Mary Novak 10/18/2013
“…I’m not going to accept this MSA. I’m not going to give her any kind of visitation….No way. I’m not going to put a kid in a house with a sex offender who violates a child. Not accepted. Appeal me."
Top Mediator Website,, Celebrates Past, Present & Future of Mediation
Jim Melamed 10/18/2013
This week's issue of The Weekly is's 500th compilation of mediation articles, featured blog posts, news, job listings, a field-wide calendar and more. Be sure to see our 500th Issue Testimonials. For 18 years, has been the trusted consolidator of comprehensive mediation information and resources.
Divorcing Parents: Avoid Bringing Your Battles to Court
Rosalind Sedacca 10/15/2013
You're getting divorced and you're angry, resentful, hurt, vindictive or any combination of other painful emotions. Hiring the most aggressive litigious divorce lawyer you can find seems like your smartest choice. If you're a divorcing parent who is thinking along those lines, you're making a choice you may long regret.
Dealing with Your Ex’s New Other
Allison Pescosolido 09/20/2013
For many, some sort of relationship with your ex exists beyond divorce. Whether you have children, business interests, or other things in common after divorce, you may have to confront a new love interest in your ex’s life. Below are five tips to help you interact with the new other and maintain your personal integrity.
Globalization of Family Mediation Rooted in Children’s Rights
Maureen Dabbagh 09/20/2013
Mediation now includes standards and guidelines for international family mediation. Unlike traditional family mediation rooted in state family law codes, international family mediation has developed within the context of international rights of children. The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HccH) used the principles found in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in framing international family mediation. The first standards for cross border family mediators was presented in December 2012.
Love, Eros, and Negotiation
Robert Benjamin 09/19/2013
Even linking the notions of love with negotiation rubs some people the wrong way. Love, after all, should be pure and not subject to vicissitudes of business. And, negotiation, being business, many believe should never be personal. In most relationships, however, personal and business, love and negotiation are inseparable and he denial of that reality frequently and unnecessarily contribute to the end of many relationships.
Restructuring the Family the Collaborative Way
Dick Price 09/13/2013
In a typical litigated divorce, the Judge will impose a standard set of guidelines for most matters relating to the children. In many of those cases, the resulting order doesn't exactly fit the needs or facts of the case. Many times, there's a random standard possession schedule for the children, as well as a standard child support order. Special needs due to work, geography, health, school or any other factors are often not considered. The big advantage of that approach, "one size fits all", is that it's easy.
Co Parenting Strategies
Allison Pescosolido 08/23/2013
There are 5 strategies that both parents should employ while parenting. These strategies help parents to maintain sanity and keep consistency for their children.
A Glass of Wine and the Truth
Vivian Scott 08/02/2013
At some point down the line we parents can create an opportunity to cozy up on the couch with a glass of wine, some comfy throw pillows, and talk about the events that took place over the years as a collective experience; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
More Conflict Resolution Tips for Divorcing Couples
Oran Kaufman 08/02/2013
Many aspects of the mediation and conflict resolution process are counter-intuitive. It is very easy and tempting as clients to throw in the towel and give up on the mediation process when an impasse occurs. This article provides useful tips for the mediator to properly set the stage so this does not occur and suggestions for clients that will allow them to work through the conflicts and bumps in the road that are bound to arise in the mediation process.
Parents' Guide to Protecting Kids' Privacy Online
Caroline Knorr 08/02/2013
With a variety of divorcing couples turning to more technology options to connect children and parents, it is important to also safeguard children online. This article discusses safeguards for children--and their parents--online.
Fifth Circuit States Terms of Prior Agreements Were Not Incorporated Into Master Settlement Agreement
Beth Graham 07/26/2013
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the terms of two parties’ Merger and Cooperation Agreements were not incorporated into a Master Settlement Agreement entered into by only one of the parties. In Alford v. Kuhlman Electric Corporation, No. 11-60728, (5th Cir. May 24, 2013), BorgWarner, Inc. purchased Kuhlman Corporation (“Kuhlman”) and all the company’s subsidiaries, including Kuhlman Electric Corporation (“KEC”).
10 Tips for Breakup Success
Allison Pescosolido 07/19/2013
Connect every day in some small way to the things around you. This article gives you ten tips for staying connected while going through a break-up.
When a Deal is Not Equal
Diana Mercer 07/18/2013
What do you, as the mediator, do when a deal isn’t equal?  And not just sort of unequal, but big bucks unequal?  And you know your clients aren’t talking to attorneys.  What’s your role and what’s your responsibility?
Mediation in Cases of International Family Conflict and Child Abduction
Sabine Walsh 07/08/2013
The School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway hosted in association the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUIG and the Irish Centre for International Family Mediation a Conference on Mediation in Cases of International Family Conflict and Child Abduction on a typically damp Saturday in May in the West of Ireland.
3 Fallacies over Lunch
Dick Price 07/07/2013
At lunch today, a very good friend and I started talking about Collaborative Law. I have known him over 30 years and we often talk about law, divorce (he's had two) and what I do as a lawyer. We have discussed Collaborative Law a number of times. I learned today that I need to be a little clearer with others when I talk about how the process works. I was shocked to hear statement after statement of misunderstandings from him.
Why is it Beneficial to Collaborate?
Rachel Virk 07/07/2013
Litigation is an old-fashioned way to resolve disputes. Nowhere is this more evident than in the family law arena. Attorneys are increasingly developing and turning to nonlitigated forms of dispute resolution. Not only are there now choices between litigation, negotiation, collaboration and mediation, but all four of these basic methods can be further divided into even more refined processes, models and approaches.
Power of Anger Ineffective against Powerful Negotiators
Victoria Pynchon 06/28/2013
Men and women both want their days to pass without having accusations hurled at them, without hearing what a frenemy is saying behind their backs, and without stirring their colleagues or clients to anger.
Ripeness of Conflict
Dennis Huizing 06/14/2013
This article will delve into one of the many ADR theories. In this case, it is the ripeness theory of conflict. This theory states that two conditions are necessary for parties to enter into ADR: both sides must be in a hurting stalemate and both sides must be optimistic about successful mediation.
The Boogeyman of California Family Law
Don Cripe 06/13/2013
People in a dispute have an increasing number of options for resolving their dispute. Those resolving family disputes have mediation as an option as well as many services provided by local courts.
Negotiating & Mediating Parenting Screen Time Agreements
Jim Melamed 05/20/2013
How the world has changed! It used to be that divorcing couples would fight over family pictures, music collections and fear losing contact with their absent child. Digital pictures, digital music and “Skype parenting time” have now dramatically altered this divorced parenting landscape. Compelling is the new critical need for parents to directly address screen time and digital media issues in a constructive way. These issues are challenging for any family and doubly challenging when a child is being raised between two households.
Managing Media with Your Ex Over the Summer
Ingrid Simone 06/03/2013
If two households doubles your kids' TV, game, and movie time, here's how to agree on limits so everyone can keep their cool over the summer.
I Didn't Leave the Children
Michael Jacobs 05/28/2013
From a mediator's perspective, slowing down, taking care to name truly, and to value messiness, are key elements of our practice. To break the cycle of attack/defend ("You left us/I didn't leave the children") is only possible by creating a space wide enough to encompass the complexity of where they currently stand. These perspectives are gathered from 16 mediators in a recent advanced family mediation training.
From Behind the Glass: Mandatory Family Law Mediation
Amanda Fletcher 05/27/2013
This article sets out a plan of attack for how an attorney can effectively advocate for their client in a mandatory family law mediation setting where the attorney is excluded from the mediation session.
10 Helpful Tips for Mediating Child Related Issues
Lisa Nelson 05/26/2013
The article provides helpful tips and considerations for parents to address in divorce mediation when minor children are involved. There are specific considerations that parents need to be made aware of before they enter the mediation process with children.
Is Collaborative Law Worth the Cost?
Dick Price 04/22/2013
For people facing divorce, a common question is whether Collaborative cases are "cheaper than litigation". While there is no way to compare a specific Collaborative case to an abstract idea of a litigated case, we can say that Collaborative Law will avoid a lot of the expense involved in litigation.
Five Tips to Let Go and Forgive after a Break-Up
Lorraine Segal 03/15/2013
Learning how to let go and forgive helped me a lot after two “break-ups.” Neither of these was with a spouse or romantic partner, but they were deep and difficult and painful nonetheless.
On Spin Cycle
Vivian Scott 03/15/2013
Here we go; round and round. That’s the sound of the all-too-familiar family whirlpool in which one person (usually the woman) asks that a chore get done and the other person (usually a man) seems agreeable but never quite gets it done. She starts tip-toeing around the subject, he avoids it, she gets louder, he acts like she’s a nag, and now they’re on spin cycle with no forward progress in sight.
Informative Mediation -- A New Model for Tough Economic Times (Part 2)
Rachel Virk 03/01/2013
Not everyone distrusts or has reason to distrust his or her spouse in a divorce.  Not everyone needs an advocate to actively and adversarially negotiate, but instead can use the attorney in his or her corner for advice, for information and for document reviews.  Not everyone needs to pay for a two-attorney collaborative process. How can a divorce attorney best serve this market?  The answer may be the process of "Informative Mediation," described in this two-part article.
Informative Mediation -- A New Model for Tough Economic Times (Part 1)
Rachel Virk 02/22/2013
Not everyone distrusts or has reason to distrust his or her spouse in a divorce.  Not everyone needs an advocate to actively and adversarially negotiate, but instead can use the attorney in his or her corner for advice, for information and for document reviews.  Not everyone needs to pay for a two-attorney collaborative process. How can a divorce attorney best serve this market?  The answer may be the process of "Informative Mediation," described in this two-part article.
Special Needs Education Dispute Resolution
Sherri Donovan 01/18/2013
Caring for a special needs child involves an often overwhelming lifelong commitment that introduces an added strain to the parents’ own relationship, which can increase the likelihood of divorce. Mediation can be especially valuable to divorcing parents of a special needs child—both during and after the divorce process itself. This articles helps parents to discuss special considerations for themselves and their children.
25 Prenuptual Questions
Kenneth Cloke 01/11/2013
Ken Cloke suggests 25 prenuptual questions that are helpful for couples mediation. These questions are designed more to facilitate a strong marriage than a smooth divorce.
Family Business Conflict: Flexible Solutions
Karen LaRose 12/21/2012
In a family business conflict, relationships are embedded in a system of family dynamics and a business system. It is impossible to separate the two components: familial relationships and business relationships. One informs the other in a circular fashion. This article discusses the correct mediation approach to working with the two systems.
Tips for Dealing with Family Conflict During the Holidays
Alexandria Skinner 12/14/2012
Alexandria Skinner has put together a useful list of suggestions for avoiding and neutralizing family conflict during holiday gatherings, roughly framed in terms of the general principles of interest based negotiation.
What Is Mediation – Revisited
Diane Cohen 11/30/2012
Within the field of family and divorce mediation, there exist two different types of mediations and two different types of processes which depend upon the needs and desires of the parties. Any given couple could at one point desire and need "structural divorce mediation" and at another point desire and need "impasse divorce mediation." The processes are not interchangeable. They serve different needs within the same field, although there is undoubtedly some overlap between the two.
The Broken Family
Jeffrey Krivis 11/16/2012
The Central Valley of California, known for its good weather and rich soil, is considered the breadbasket of the country. The many people who live in this agricultural community work hard. They know that the literal fruits of their labors feed people, and are proud of their role in society.
Whose House is MY House for Christmas: Mommy’s or Daddy’s?
Jeff Murphy 11/16/2012
Before we are in the midst of the Holiday season, separated and divorced couples should take a moment to walk through their expectations. When it comes to protecting children and safeguarding their holiday experience, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Mediation is Underused in Civil Cases
Don Cripe 11/10/2012
Don Cripe is a law professor and experienced attorney/mediator. He shares his point of view as a lawyer, giving insight into how lawyers view and use the mediation process.
Family Therapy: Universal and Unique Approaches - Video
Samuel Gladding 09/25/2012
Through a series of entertaining, brief, and instructional role plays, Dr. Gladding reviews several universals of family treatment approaches, such as types of communication patterns, rules, and feedback. This role play shows an example of a mediator listening to families discuss their day, and giving honest feedback about how statements have affected them.
Collaborative Family Helping - Video
Collaborative Helping 07/25/2012
This video introduces Collaborative Helping, an integrated practice framework that draws from cutting edge ideas and practices in family therapy, community/organizational development, and post-modern thinking while applying them in a concrete and accessible fashion.
Patience, Please!
Dick Price 10/12/2012
Sometimes, people get anxious to get their divorce over with. That's understandable. Divorce is stressful, difficult and often unpleasant. It's usually not a good experience, unless you and your spouse both are still cordial with each other and both want to move fairly quickly through the process. Even if things start out well, try not to be in too big a hurry.
Why Prenups Are Bad For Your Marital Health
Laurie Israel 10/06/2012
Selfishness kills a marriage.  Generosity makes it thrive.  Your mediator can help you discover options that will protect that generosity without a prenup, or show you how to make the prenup less restrictive. 
Why You Shouldn't Negotiate with Your Spouse
Dick Price 08/27/2012
As a Collaborative case progresses, one or both of the parties often want to "save time" or "save money" by negotiating directly with their spouse, outside of the joint Collaborative meetings. That's usually a bad idea from my experience.
Negotiating Your Settlement
Diana Mercer 07/30/2012
Learning how to talk constructively with your spouse will go a long way to creating lasting peace. This article explains how to negotiate in a way that keeps the long-term goal in sight.
Mediation of Family Disputes
Hon. Richard Bennett 07/09/2012
Mediation is beneficial in family law cases, where custody and children’s visitation arrangements are in dispute. There is a growing trend to utilize ADR tools in dissolution actions involving individuals with greater wealth. However, these tools have been less widely used to resolve the thorny and emotional issues surrounding identification and distribution of property in lower total value dissolution matters.
Co-Parenting Skills: Credit Where Credit is Due
Nancy Hudgins 06/25/2012
I conducted a divorce mediation recently where the parties have been separated for many years but now have started the divorce process by coming to mediation. They have been co-parenting their children during the separation. We have worked through most of the issues involved and are very close to resolution. What was to be the last session turned out to be the next-to-last session.
Co-Parenting Skills: Credit Where Credit is Due
Nancy Hudgins 06/11/2012
I conducted a divorce mediation recently where the parties have been separated for many years but now have started the divorce process by coming to mediation. They have been co-parenting their children during the separation. We have worked through most of the issues involved and are very close to resolution. What was to be the last session turned out to be the next-to-last session.
Thoughts on Gender Bias in Co-Parenting Mediation
This article examines the influence of gender dynamics in the mediation process. It further explains the ways in which gender differences are perceived by mediators and participants. It concludes with several suggestions on how to overcome these barriers to an unbiased mediation.
An Alternative to Colosseum of Family Court
Stephen Erickson 05/20/2012
Steve Erickson discusses the view from family court. He left the practice of family law for family mediation, looking for a less aggressive alternative to resolving family disputes.
How Good Emailing Can Improve a Bad Relationship
Susanna Jani 05/14/2012
Today, you are in for a real treat. Jane Henderson, Q.C., our perennially popular blogger and member of our distance mediation team, is back with another of her signature frank, but light-hearted, posts. I hope you are settled into a comfortable chair because this is one you’ll want to read to the end!
The Best Interests of Children: Negotiating in the Shadow of the Law
Susanna Jani 04/30/2012
Today, it is my privilege to publish a post about what is undoubtedly the single most important consideration for separating parents — including when they are participating in family mediation.
Think Before you Move-In
Jeff Murphy 04/23/2012
A recent study showed that couples who began their lives together by co-habiting before marriage had a higher rate of divorce than those who waited until the knot was tied. This article discusses the downside of co-habitation.
No Divorcing Please, We’re British
Jeff Murphy 04/17/2012
We have “no-fault divorce” here in the States, but in the U.K. a party suuing for divorce still has to prove cause. Officially the grounds are such serious matters as adultery and abandonment, but it seems the courts will take just about anything presented.
The Revolution in Family Law Dispute Resolution
John Lande 04/12/2012
In the past fifty years, the revolution in American family law led to a revolution in family law dispute resolution. Virtually every aspect of divorce law has been transformed since the Mad Men era, including grounds for divorce, characterization of marital property, child custody presumptions, and alimony and child support rules. Marriage is not assumed to be a lifelong commitment. Fault generally is not legally relevant. Gender equality is a fundamental principle.
Is it Time to Go?
Jeff Murphy 04/09/2012
Check out the article about divorce counseling in the personal Journal section of the April 3, 2012 issue of the Wall Street journal:
When it ain’t Easy to Say the Right Thing: How Distance Mediators Help
Susanna Jani 02/28/2012
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” (Mark Twain). I wish I’d seen that quote years ago, when I was in the midst of my own separation. In hindsight, I can say without hesitation that many of the discussions I had with my ex about how to reorganize our lives went sideways for no other reason than that I didn’t understand how important my choice of words actually was.
Seven Tips for Setting Boundaries and Consequences with Teens
Lorraine Segal 02/06/2012
One huge source of conflict and stress for parents of teens is figuring out how to set appropriate guidelines and consequences and then follow through successfully. Here are some tips and suggestions based on communication and conflict resolution principles.
Family Law Council Files Rare Amicus Over Mediation Issue
Victoria VanBuren 01/30/2012
The council submitted the brief on Jan. 9, urging the Supreme Court to grant a mandamus to force a family law judge to approve a mediated settlement agreement (MSA) in a custody dispute. The judge in that suit, 309th District Judge Sheri Dean of Houston, refused to approve the MSA between Stephanie Lee and Benjamin Jay Redus, on the ground it was not in the best interest of a child. The council argues in the amicus that the judiciary should not create common-law exceptions to the enforceability of MSAs.
Going Deeper in Mediation
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. 01/23/2012
This article looks at going deeper in mediation. Specifically, how to resolve zero-sum divorce disputes through mediation. This case study examines detailed scenarios and arguments that often arise in divorce mediations.
Prenups – Don’t Lawyer Up, Mediate!
Laurie Israel 02/01/2012
Prenup articles typically talk about how resolving and clarifying money issues prior to marriage is a good thing.   However, they do not take into account the very important component of most good marriages: the sharing of money and resources.  So prenups aren't necessarily the best thing since sliced bread -- they can pose many problems for the future spouses.
Interview with Nina Meierding
Nina Meierding 08/02/2012
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Nina Meierding, Family Mediator, Culture and Gender Mediation Trainer, and adjunct professor of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine, filmed as part of's "The Mediators: Views from the Eye of the Storm" Series
Kris Humphries Divorce from Kim Kardashian
Andra Brosh 12/12/2011
The Kim Kardashian/ Kris Humphries divorce is top news, just about everywhere you look. It is important to keep in mind that divorce can be one of the most excruciating periods in life, no matter who you are or how long the marriage lasted. Both Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries have a potentially tough road ahead of grieving and healing. It’s important to keep in mind that divorce is a transition, not a way of life.
Kris Humphries Divorce from Kim Kardashian
Andra Brosh 11/21/2011
The Kim Kardashian/ Kris Humphries divorce is top news, just about everywhere you look. It is important to keep in mind that divorce can be one of the most excruciating periods in life, no matter who you are or how long the marriage lasted. Both Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries have a potentially tough road ahead of grieving and healing.
Divorce Mediation: How it Works
Nancy Hudgins 11/14/2011
I co-mediate divorces with John Duda, M.F.T., a family and couples therapist who practices on the peninsula south of San Francisco. John and I appreciate the collaborative aspect of our mediation practice. Our clients tell us they appreciate the male-female, therapist-lawyer perspectives we bring.
Making Nice in Divorce Mediations
Nancy Hudgins 10/24/2011
Over the years, I’ve given and received lots of advice for how to act during a divorce mediation. Put simply, it can be summed up in two words: “Make nice.” Does being nice make sense in divorce mediation?
Unsure Where to start? A Handful of Separation and Divorce Resources to Get you Going
Susanna Jani 10/24/2011
For many people, going through separation or divorce can be truly overwhelming. In fact, I feel pretty confident in saying that, for many, the experience can be brutally overwhelming.
The Clouds and Silver Lining of Divorce in B.C.
Susanna Jani 08/29/2011
A recent post by Nate Russell on the Courthouse Libraries BC blog has got me thinking about just how lucky we are when it comes to getting a divorce in British Columbia today.
Ten Tips for Preparing for Divorce Mediation
Nancy Hudgins 08/15/2011
In preparing for the mediation of your divorce, you are wise to take time to do a bit of planning. Here is a list of ten things to consider ahead of time.
Divorce Humor
Pete Desrochers 05/06/2011
Humor in life is wherever you find it, but divorce mediations aren’t exactly the best venues for humor…or are they?
Transformative Mediation for Divorce: Rising Above the Law and the Settlement
Dan Simon 03/07/2011
Abstaining from providing legal advice and resisting the urge to problem-solve, transformative mediators offer divorcing couples an essential service: providing authentic support for any discussion they choose to have, helping them arrive at greater clarity, and improving their sense of connection with each other. While these conversations often lead to a comprehensive divorce settlement, their primary value extends far beyond the terms of the agreement.
What Is The Role Of A Lawyer In A Divorce Case?
Diane Cohen 01/31/2011
Although I have been involved in the mediation field for 15 years, started out with a course in divorce mediation, and am immediate past co-president of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, I have only dipped my big toe into actually practicing divorce mediation. Mostly, I have concentrated on custody and visitation, workplace and other relationship types of mediation. Why have I steered clear of divorce mediation?
Your Divorce Mission Statement
Diana Mercer 01/10/2011
Creating a divorce mission statement at the beginning of your divorce will help you keep your actions in line with your values and goals for who you want to be during and after your divorce.
Getting On With Your Life, And Sleeping More Soundly, With “Constructive Divorce”
Cynthia M. Fox 11/15/2010
“Sweetheart, who’s in bed with us tonight?” It's one o’clock in the morning and it’s my husband, Patrick, asking. Now, before you start thinking we have that kind of marriage, you need to know that this is my sweet darling’s way of asking which of my clients’ divorce cases is keeping me awake.
Dealing With The Pains Of Divorce Through Meaningful And Complete Apology
Dina Haddad 11/01/2010
If you are contemplating divorce, in the midst of a divorce, or already have a divorce decree in hand, you know pressures of the legal process do not compare to the emotional turmoil you are experiencing. The emotional pressures can be quelled when you give a meaningful and complete apology. It has the effect of freeing you from the weight of the divorce, help heal you and the person you offended, restore your relationships, and even provide you direct legal benefits to your case.
Using The Aikido Philosophy With High Conflict Divorce
Bruce Derman 10/11/2010
Divorce is not an easy life passage in the best of circumstances, since it involves making crucial lifetime decisions about marriage, children, money and property at a time in which we all feel very vulnerable and fearful. Things become even more challenging when we add to the mix intense emotional agendas and personality disorders such as narcissistic, borderline and passive-aggressive, or an overall refusal to cooperate, trust, and participate.
Can Divorce Actually Be Constructive?
Cynthia M. Fox 09/20/2010
A change in the way I bill my clients has reduced the combativeness in the cases I handle. And, because there is less fighting, my client’s legal bills have been reduced. What was this change? I insist that my clients keep their payments up to date.
“Grey Divorce”: Make Sure It's Not “Grave” Mistake
David D. Stein 09/13/2010
Apparently there is a nationwide upswing in divorce amongst an older demographic. This phenomenon is being called “Grey Divorce”.
Launching A Child Of Divorce
Nancy Caplan 08/23/2010
The pain of contentious divorce or post-divorce disputes is a pain that keeps on giving, and young adult children are not exempt from the negative effects. Consider the young adult child who is going off to college for the first time. The packing list? Clothes, bedding, desk lamp, the burden of worry for the parents left behind in a state of fear, anger and agitation due to the vicious back-and-forth of the adversarial process and the uncertainty of outcome guaranteed by the judicial system process.
Reconciliation: Moving Past Divorce
Dina Haddad 07/26/2010
After separation and during the divorce process, you likely have become angry, resentful, and hostile towards your spouse. When our relationships become threatening, such as a damaged marriage relationship, we protect ourselves by forming a negative image of the other person. This negative image helps us live on with our lives, without experiencing psychological disintegration.
The Peacemaking Option For Divorce And Dissolution Of Domestic Partnerships: How Family Scientists Support Interest Based Conciliation And What This Means For Separating Couples
Thurman W. Arnold III 07/26/2010
The family sciences offer an approach for facilitating conciliation of the seemingly conflicting interests and needs of divorcing couples, and those dissolving domestic partnerships, that may be adapted by legal and other professionals to the task of mediation and peacemaking. By understanding the crisis of divorce, family scientists may help educate lawyers, and the clients themselves, to become peacemakers.
Learning To Forgive In Divorce
Dina Haddad 07/12/2010
Often overlooked, divorcing spouses struggle to forgive their spouses and themselves. This inability often prevents them from being able to reach an optimal settlement, whether in mediation or litigation. Dina Haddad sets out a guideline for divorcing spouses to begin the forgiveness process in the context of the divorce setting.
Divorce Mediation: A Tool For Empowerment
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 06/13/2010
Why do individuals choose to mediate their separation, divorce, or post-divorce issues? For twenty-eight years, we at the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution (CMDR) have been tracking the responses of our clients. Here’s a sampling of what they tell us:
Divorce Presents Many With The Opportunity For Fresh Start
Cynthia M. Fox 06/07/2010
Divorce is, quite literally, a termination point. A union of two lives, whether over several years or just a few months, comes to an end. At that moment, one road travelled together ends and two new roads must be built and navigated separately.
How Celebrities Divorce Is A Choice. Mediation Offers Them A Better Option
Lee Jay Berman 05/03/2010
One of this week’s most talked about legal issues is whether or not Larry King will divorce his wife Shaun Southwick. Last week the media speculated about the state of Tiger and Elin Woods’ marriage. The week before it was all about Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, and the week before that Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller. Next week another couple with a marriage in crisis will take the spotlight amid accusations of cheating, disclosures of prenuptial agreements, divisions of millions in assets and child-custody battles. Like many failed marriages, however, when the focus goes away the discussion about those matters will remain toxic.
Divorce Mediation: A Tool For Empowerment
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 05/03/2010
Why do individuals choose to mediate their separation, divorce, or post-divorce issues? For twenty-eight years, we at the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution (CMDR) have been tracking the responses of our clients. Here’s a sampling of what they tell us.
Mediation Is Better Process For Divorce
Debra Synovec 04/26/2010
I wonder……what would happen if all divorce and family law matters went straight to facilitated, interest based mediation rather than to the courthouse, our hierarchal traditional approach which often exploits people, focuses on differences, is power based valuing win/lose, control and superiority and pits on family member against the other.
How To Settle Your Own Divorce: And Never Set Foot Inside Of A Courthouse
Erica Becks 04/26/2010
Yes, you read right. Clients are often astounded when I tell them that 1) arranging their own divorce is possible and 2) is a relatively straightforward process. If you or someone you know is looking to save themselves the time and heartache of litigating a divorce, please read on.
Mediating A Divorce Sometimes Leads To Saving A Marriage
Cynthia M. Fox 04/26/2010
In this and my next article, I will tell you of two situations where the mediation worked so well that instead of ending their marriages, the couples involved recommitted themselves to preserving their marriage.
Divorce Mediator's Toolbox
Debra Synovec 04/19/2010
Last week in an effort to keep up on the trends and developments in the dispute resolution profession I attended the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution 12th Annual Spring Conference held in San Francisco.
Separation & Divorce Mediation In The "Great Recession"
Nancy Caplan 04/12/2010
A whopping number of formerly financially solvent people are feeling more than a pinch from the economic downturn in this country. It has been dubbed the "Great Recession" in the news. We all know that Wall Street has rebounded from its lowest point. Unfortunately, both the jobs market and housing market lag far behind that rebound. This means that many people remain negatively affected by ripple-effect of the Wall Street crash of 2008.
The True Cost Of A Divorce in California
Erica Becks 03/29/2010
Whether fueled by desperation, fear or just plain old vengeance, too many well-intentioned (okay maybe not so well-intentioned) people end up in a litigated divorce. And while I could spend the next year discussing the benefits of mediation over litigation, I won't. I'll just give you the numbers. And for those of you with a rudimentary knowledge of arithmetic, the numbers should speak for themselves. So without further ado:
Business Divorce Mediation
Richard Lutringer 01/04/2010
This article addresses how mediators can assist ordinary business owners and their counsel to resolve split-up issues more efficiently and fairly than litigation or arbitration.
Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Divorce
Kathleen O'Connell Corcoran 03/05/2011
This article summarizes many of the common psychological and emotional effects divorce has on men, women and children. The divorce rate in the United States is the highest in the world. Over fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Welcome to the majority.
Today Show on Collaborative Practice - Video
The Today Show aired a segment on Collaborative Practice. They discussed the collaborative practice and they also brought in a couple who had been through a collaborative divorce to provide a real-life perspective.
Holiday Parenting Part II
Jeff Murphy 12/05/2011
Here in Part II, I want to remind you that it’s you and your spouse who divorced and not your kids.
Holiday Parenting Doesn’t Have To Be A “War of the Roses” Part I
Jeff Murphy 11/28/2011
It’s a shame so much stress and tension surrounds Thanksgiving and Christmas. Too many movies are made about the sometimes ugly get-togethers with relatives who don’t get along the rest of the year and don’t want to see each other now, but feel obliged to.
New Frontiers in Cross Border Family Mediation
Sabine Walsh 11/07/2011
Front my point of view as a mediator and as a participant in the training programme, I can see only enormous benefits for bi-national families in using mediation to resolve, and even prevent the crises that can result in children being taken from their home country and the fallout that ensues.
Sure You Want to do This? A 2nd Marriage-Hope v. Experience
Jeff Murphy 10/31/2011
Nineteen percent of all marriages in 2008 were a second go-round for at least one party. If there were problems that led to a divorce in the first marriage, how sure are you that you won’t repeat them again in the second?
Here Comes the Bride…zilla, that is!
Vivian Scott 10/24/2011
Getting married is such an exciting time. The one you love proposes, you honor your best friends by asking them to participate in the big day, the planets align, and all is right with the world. Until the issues of time and money bring out the worst in you and everyone around you.
“I Listen Better When I Can Talk” (and other disadvantages of videoconferencing in distance mediation)
Susanna Jani 09/26/2011
In a recent post, I explored some of the advantages of using computer-based videoconferencing platforms to conduct family mediations from a distance. In spite of our preference for these platforms, our distance mediation team recognizes that they also come with a number of disadvantages.
Love Is Never A Mistake
Brooke Goldfarb 09/19/2011
When you came together at the time it was meant to be. It was not a mistake. Your children are not a mistake. The life you built together was not a mistake. If it is time to move on, then let's move on, but let's honor the past as we look to the future
Marriage Closure Therapy: Tips for Family Mediators
Susan Bulfinch 09/19/2011
Marriage Closure Therapy is a therapeutic intervention that assists couples who are struggling with the decision to stay married or to divorce. Tips for mediators working with divorcing couples are provided.
Phil Gerbyshak’s 90-second Relationship Rule
Tammy Lenski 09/06/2011
Tammy Lenski discusses marital communication.
Gender Balanced Co-Mediation in Family-Centered Conflict
Situations involving multiple parties, experiences, and perspectives require skilled mediators who bring with them a finely tuned equilibrium, presence, and insight. A gender balanced, co-mediation team brings all three qualities to the resolution of family-centered conflict.
Crazy, Stupid Love
Andra Brosh 08/22/2011
Sometimes the most important thing to do when facing the early aftermath of being left is to focus on becoming the best possible version of oneself. This may be the person that existed earlier in the marriage or someone completely different.
Family Mediation: One Lawyer Tells How She Does It
Susanna Jani 08/15/2011
Mediation is very much a child-centered process. As Mediator, if the children are of an appropriate age, I may be asked to speak to the children about what is going on and how it is impacting them. Sometimes it is more appropriate for that conversation to be with a child specialist rather than the Mediator.
Where are the Children During the Distance Mediation Process?
Laura Luz 08/08/2011
Distance, or technology-assisted, family mediation allows parents undergoing separation to participate in mediation from their own homes, making it particularly convenient for parents who are caring for the children. It also creates an extra responsibility for these parents and the mediator, to ensure that the children who are in the home during the mediation don’t “fall through the cracks.” Strategies and common sense guidelines for family mediators who are looking to expand their practice into distance mediation are provided.
Obstacles to Getting the Help You Need
Andra Brosh 08/01/2011
Going through a divorce is one of the most challenging life transitions. The feelings that get invoked around separation and divorce can be debilitating and overwhelming, and it is often hard to know where to turn for help. There are many things that can get in the way of reaching out for help and getting the support necessary to begin recovering from the devastation.
The Heart of Communication, Moving From Strife to Harmony
Lorraine Segal 07/18/2011
How can we open our hearts and minds to clear, transformative communication?
On Reducing the Gap Between You and Your Former Spouse
Susanna Jani 07/18/2011
“Coincidence” knocked on my door again a few days ago. I had literally just finished reading James Hollis’ What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life (Penguin Books, 2009) when what appears in my Inbox but a notification about a new post on one of my favourite blogs, Ben Ziegler’s Collaborative Journeys.
Dr. Joan Kelly’s Top Ten Ways to Protect Your Kids from the Fallout of a High Conflict Break-Up
Nancy Hudgins 06/13/2011
Dr. Joan Kelly’s Top Ten Ways to Protect Your Kids from the Fallout of a High Conflict Break-Up
Set Your Emotional GPS to Goodness
Diana Mercer 05/30/2011
Your emotional GPS will take you in the direction you program into it. When you program your destination for goodness, that’s where you’ll end up.
Thoughts on Mediating Custody
As a mediator, I have been involved in thousands of custody cases with their many nuances. Frequently, the perspectives of the participants amount to little more than parents playing out traditional gender roles. The mothers often argue a “tender years” position, and the fathers counter with a desire to be more than a mere “weekend dad.” The mediator’s role becomes especially frustrating when the parties truly believe an intractable position is in the best interest of the child.
The 8 Peace Practices
Diana Mercer 05/06/2011
There are eight simple peace practices that will help you stay sane and on track with your recommended divorce mission statement.
Conflict Resolution in the Holy Lands
John Shaffer 04/11/2011
I recently returned from a conflict resolution training of unusual depth and dimension. It is an experience I wish for all my family and friends, co-workers and neighbors. I say “it is” because the journey this training is a part of is not over; in fact, I’d say it has hardly begun.
The 8 Keys to Resolving Family Conflict
Diana Mercer 04/02/2011
From my experience, there are eight keys to resolving family conflicts. Using these eight keys you can change the dynamics of a conflicted relationship unilaterally and on an ongoing basis.
The Value of a Psychologist Mediator
Ilene Diamond 03/21/2011
While a retired judge or former trial lawyer-turned-mediator may provide excellent ADR value for large-scale commercial lawsuits, there are many types of disputes in which the client(s) may be better served by a psychologist mediator. This article highlights the unique skills and experience psychologist mediators bring to the mediation table, and provides examples of cases in which a psychologist mediator adds exceptional value.
When Divorcing, Set Your Emotional GPS To Goodness
Diana Mercer 02/21/2011
Your emotional GPS will take you in the direction you program into it. When you program your destination for "goodness," that’s where you’ll end up. If you let yourself (and your spouse) off the hook by letting go of the blame, shame, and other unproductive emotions, you can make your divorce work. You can experience your grief and healing as part of your divorce itself and begin your new life right now.
Acting Out: What Mediators Can Do To Help Parties Stop Reliving The Past And Start Working Together
Miriam L. Zimmerman 02/07/2011
This article will help mediators preempt client acting-out behavior by systematic strategies employing business methods and communication techniques to help clients begin creating a better future instead of invoking a dysfunctional past.
Diane Cohen 01/24/2011
When parties come to mediation, they may or may not have a clear idea of what they should expect, or in fact, what mediation is. It is therefore common practice for mediators to tell parties what the process of mediation is, so that everyone is clear. Although it is appropriate for mediators to make sure that both the mediator and the parties agree on what the process will entail, should the mediator be the one deciding — or mandating — what the process is? Ironically, a basic principle of mediation is self determination. Yet, is it self-determination to decide for the parties what the process should be?
How It Is
Brook D. Olsen 01/10/2011
I woke up this morning and checked my email. There in one of the emails was this inspirational quote of the day. The notion that our desires overshadow my ability to actually see what is right in front of me is somehow surprisingly revolutionary. I thought how appropriate this quote is as it pertains to the area of high conflict divorce and custody cases. It seems to me that the family law community, the courts and the professionals that support the clients are having a difficult time getting away from the way they think the parents in high conflict cases should behave and what the reality of their plight actually is.
Marrying Rich? Why We Read Advice For Hefner’s Bride-to-Be
Victoria Pynchon 01/03/2011
Why is Negotiation Advice for Crystal Harris poised to take over the day’s top spot as’s most popular post as LeBron James’ advice for the NBA fades into obscurity (as my item will tomorrow)?
She Negotiates For Crystal Harris ~ About That Pre-Nup
Victoria Pynchon 12/27/2010
The question why Hugh Hefner is marrying his 24 year old girlfriend Crystal Harris has been raised around many a post-Christmas table since Hef popped the question along with the diamond on Christmas Day. Jeez, my 85-year old mother doesn't even have a computer, but the ever-young Hef tweeted his proposal. Still, Hef can't have more than a decade of active life left in him while Crystal's got six or seven decades.
Mediator's Proposals Redux
Joe Markowitz 12/06/2010
Being a trial lawyer, a mediator, and most importantly, a Dodgers fan, I can't help following the newspaper reports of the juicy ongoing divorce litigation between Frank and Jamie McCourt. The latest news illustrates some of the pitfalls of mediator's proposals. I am speculating to some extent as to what is really going on here, but based on this LA Times report, it seems that Frank's side accepted, but Jamie's side rejected LA Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman's confidential proposal.
The Psychology of Mediation (II): The IDR Cycle, A New Model For Understanding Mediation
Elizabeth Bader 11/29/2010
This is the second article in a series based on Elizabeth Bader’s article, “The Psychology of Mediation: Issues of Self and Identity and the IDR Cycle,” 10 PEPP. DISP. RESOL. L. J. 183 (2010).
Facebook Posts, Losing Your Job, Your Privacy, And Your Dignity
Steve Mehta 11/01/2010
Recently I gave a lecture about social media and suggested that people need to watch what they say because it is being used in legal proceedings. In fact, we discussed the issue in the seminar whether it is the standard of care to investigate social media in a case. I also wrote a post about useless comments on Facebook. So I decided to show some useless posts that have many legal uses and implications. In other words, posts that are really embarassing that shouldn’t have been put up in the first place. I thought I would put the post and then some advice along with it.
Who Won?
Joe Markowitz 10/11/2010
Now that another one of those trials of the century that Los Angeles seems to enjoy about once a decade has concluded (I'm talking about the McCourt divorce trial of course), everyone wants to know who won.
Of Course The Mccourts Will Mediate
Victoria Pynchon 09/27/2010
Every time we hear the name “McCourt” these days, our heart leaps a little. Who cares if the ridiculous divorce travails of Jamie and Frank end up wrecking the team, after all?
Fault Or No Fault: It’s Not A Mediation Question
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 09/27/2010
The question of fault or the reason for the demise of the relationship is not germane to the mediation process. Mediation is a problem-solving approach; it focuses on designing settlements that are fair to all involved family members. It is not a process for looking backward.
Use of The Our Family Wizard Shared Parenting Web Site Upheld in Kentucky Court
Jainarain Kissoon 09/08/2010
The Kentucky Court of Appeals (Telek v. Bucher) recently upheld a ruling by the Kenton Family Court that mandated the continued use of The Our Family Wizard shared parenting software.
Conflict Resolution Through Speaking The Truth In Love Not In War
Mary Aderibigbe 08/01/2010
Divorce, separation, family violence, perennial disputes rocking many homes, ever so often stem from minor misunderstandings, which were inadvertently left to escalate due to neglect or improper management. Marital relationships are strengthened when differences are afforded early attention and amicable settlement. The contrary is the case when disagreements between couples are left unattended, or devoid of effective management.
Marital Agreements Upheld in Massachusetts
John Fiske 07/18/2010
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts on July 16, 2010 answered in Ansin v. Craven-Ansin the long-deferred question of whether a marital agreement should be recognized. The answer is "yes." Their reasoning centers around the spouses’ freedom to contract, "permitting the parties to arrange their financial affairs as they best see fit.”
Ireland- Lawyers Urged To 'Buy Into' Mediation
Jeff Thompson 07/12/2010
he Chief Justice and many other judges have expressed their support for the wider use of mediation in family law – and, indeed, other – disputes, and provision now exists in the Commercial Court for cases to be adjourned for mediation. The Legal Aid Board has taken steps to increase use of mediation by its solicitors. Yet the proportion of family law cases being mediated remains low, partly because of lingering suspicion of the process among lawyers.
Why Biased Mediators Are Essential In Child Custody Disputes
Erica Becks 07/05/2010
Let’s face it; most humans are hard-wired to be somewhat self-interested. In many ways, self-interest is a survival mechanism, which ensures that our needs are met first. However, the purpose of this article is not to decide whether we as humans should or should not be self-interested. What I would like to explore, is what happens when self-interest begins to hijack the child custody mediation process?
“Happy Wife, Happy Life” and Mediation
Laurie Israel 07/05/2010
Did you ever hear the expression “Happy Wife, Happy Life”? This overused adage seems to help some people (generally husbands) focus on their wife’s happiness in order to secure a peaceful, happy marriage. Surprisingly, the concept may have some academic support.
Curiosity Is Everything
Debra Synovec 05/17/2010
Curious mind. Cpen mind. Responsive mind. All three advance your divorce settlement conversations.
Child Custody Litigation - How Winners Become Losers
Nancy Caplan 04/26/2010
To "win" a child custody litigation case is usually a dubious achievement. From the moment the winner parent is hugging his or her successful trial attorney with gratitude, the "loser" is making plans for future litigation. And that's the good news. The bad news may be that the child's "losing" parent may simply give up on parenting.
The Need For Parallel Parenting
Brook D. Olsen 04/12/2010
In the early stages of divorce, it is normal for tensions and emotions to be high. In fact, it’s more common than not. People need time and space in order to process their emotions and to find proper ways to both contain and appropriately express their anger over the shock, feelings of betrayal, abandonment and to get their head around how life is going to look in the future.
High Conflict Mediation As A First Intervention With Intractable Couples
Nan Burnett 03/29/2010
Therapeutic high conflict mediation is an approach to the engagement of conflict that aims to develop more effective and preventive skills with reactive couples. It is short term and goal directed.
AFCC Wins ASAE’s 2010 Award of Excellence
AFCC 03/08/2010
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) is one of only 13 organizations nationally to receive an Award of Excellence in the first round of the 2010 Associations Advance America (AAA) Awards.
The Case For Caucuses
Miriam L. Zimmerman 03/08/2010
A response to Laurie Israel’s January 10, 2010 article, “To Caucus or not to Caucus – That is the Question,” that includes reasons why mediators should embrace the resources of the caucus. Two divorce mediators require caucuses with each party as part of their process. Reasons to caucus include obtaining clearer information about the dynamics of the relationship, understanding the separate perspectives each brings to the mediation table, discovering sensitive issues such as abuse or intimidation that might not otherwise surface until too late, and more.
Valentine's Day: Hearts & Flowers Or Darts & Revenge
Jeff Murphy 02/07/2010
Valentine's Day serves as a reminder of broken relationships. Divorced people are often angry and want revenge. Mediation gives the parties an opportunity to vent while allowing them to preserve the relationship. This is especially important if children are involved. This article includes comments from a divorce attorney and a therapist on how to handle divorce and Valentine's Day.
Parenting Plans For Special Needs Children
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 02/01/2010
All parenting situations are not the same. In particular, in families of children with special needs, the parenting plan needs to be crafted with great care. Here, parents need to think and re-think child-related situations that over the years have most challenged their coping mechanisms and include provisions for their interaction and oversight that deal specifically with these very targeted issues.
10 Ways For Divorcing Families To Enjoy The Holidays
Linda Gryczan 01/04/2010
All families experience additional stress during celebrations and holidays, but divorced families can be pushed to the limit. We are headed into a time when everyone is expected to be happy and full of good cheer, and maybe your heart is in shreds, the kids are fighting, and you are flat broke. 10 Ways for Divorcing Families to Enjoy the Holidays offers suggestions on how to agree on a schedule; simplify celebrations; keep conflict to a minimum; plan for alone time and incorporate new traditions.
Preview: "Mediating Divorce Agreement" 15 Hour DVD Course
Jim Melamed 10/22/2009
This is a preview to "Mediating Divorce Agreement," a 15 hour divorce mediation curriculum with Jim Melamed. Full information and ordering are available at
Divorce Mediation: Tackling The Division Of Retirement Savings
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 12/15/2009
Who gets what in a divorce action is rarely an easy question or a foregone conclusion. Interestingly, of all the holdings acquired during a marriage, psychologically and financially, the assets most difficult to divide are retirement funds.
Same-Sex Couples: When Divorce Isn’t An Option
Arnold W. Zeman 11/30/2009
Since 1995, same-sex couples have had full marriage rights in Canada. Since these rights are not available in many U.S. states, American couples have travelled to Canada to get married. So far so good. What happens, though, in the event that marriages of non-Canadian same-sex couples break down?
Divorce Tax Tip!
Debra Synovec 10/19/2009
The timing of your divorce could cut your taxes. Your tax bill could be significantly less or more, depending on your filing status as of December 31st.
Divorce And The House
Debra Synovec 10/12/2009
Divorce is usually difficult. Emotions run high and at the same time divorcing couples have the added problem of figuring out the property distribution. This is particularly challenging when the market is down.
New Approaches To Divorce Settlements In Times Of Recession
Richard Sharp 10/12/2009
Survey results published by The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts in June 2009, indicate that the way in which divorce proceedings are being handled are changing, due in part to the current economic climate.
Divorce Mediation: Is Separate Always Better?
It is our experience that the vast majority of divorce mediators in Middle Tennessee conduct all divorce mediations with the parties in separate rooms from beginning to end. This seems to be true regardless of whether the parties have children together, their ability to communicate effectively, or the general level of conflict they are experiencing. This article challenges the premise that “separate is always better” and asks whether automatically separating the parties in divorce mediation serves the parties well, especially long-term.
Book Review Of Collaborative Divorce Handbook: Helping Families Without Going To Court
Nan Burnett 09/25/2009
Forrest S. “Woody” Mosten has been a visionary trailblazer for over 30 years. The first time I heard Woody speak was in Denver in the late 1990’s. The topic was Unbundling Legal Services. I remember thinking, boy is he courageous! I contemplated the resistance he would surely face from the rest of legal community. When you get to know Woody, you quickly discover that he is a champion of the ones who have no voice, the client drowning in conflict; a change agent on a very large scale.
Who Decides Your Divorce...Umpire Or You?
Debra Synovec 07/27/2009
Clients often ask “Is mediation right for our divorce situation?” A better question might be “Is litigation right for our divorce situation?”
Co-Parenting After A Divorce—Tips From A Mediator
Brian James 07/13/2009
Co-parenting starts the day the decision is made to divorce has been made. Even the most amicable divorces need a plan for future co-parenting. Putting your children's best interests first, no matter how much you may dislike their other parent, is the key to co-parenting.
When Divorce Means Re-Entering The Job Market
Laurie Israel 06/01/2009
In working with divorcing couples, reemployment of an “at-home” spouse is a recurring theme. This is usually (but not always) the wife, who needs to enter the job market after the divorce. An analysis of the finances of a divorce case generally leads to the stark truth that the family unit (now divided into two households) cannot live on the earned income that was being brought into the household prior to the divorce.
Book Review: The Healthy Divorce: Keys to Ending Your Marriage While Preserving your Emotional Well-Being
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. 04/10/2009
This book is an updated version of Between Love and Hate: A Guide to Civilized Divorce, originally published in 1992. At that time, I was troubled by the continuing portrayal by the American media and movies of American divorces as destructive, poisonous, hateful processes and behaviors reminiscent of War of the Rose, and widely recommended Lois Gold’s book to mental health and legal professionals and separating partners and spouses to educate them about a better way to separate and divorce.
A Glimmer of Light: Divorce & Breakups May Not Feel As Bad As You Think
Rina Goodman 03/16/2009
In the beginning, there is disbelief and fear. Questions such as, "What am I going to do?"; "How will I live on my own?"; and "How can I sleep without holding someone?" come spilling forth. The caller continues to speak, but I am not expected to answer. So I listen.
Finding Your Divorce Mediator!
Locating a qualified divorce mediator is essential and significant to the process. The mediator is your guide throughout the divorce mediation process. At first locating a mediator may seem like looking for a needle in a haystack because divorce mediators have all sorts of backgrounds and abilities, from lawyers to therapists to financial professionals and many in between. One difficulty is that in most states anyone can hang their shingle and mediate. So how do you distinguish a really good mediator from a so-so mediator?
Working Together after Divorce – The Mediated Road to Success
The world of divorce is a place with an infinite number of stories that play out as a short list of common themes. The biggies: the well being of the children, how to divide assets, who gets the marital home and the complications of a parenting plan. We also know that divorces are rarely the end of the relationship in the sense that once they are final you never have, or need to have, contact with the other party again.
Mitigating High Conflict Divorce Disputes
Brook D. Olsen 08/24/2008
High levels of parental conflict have consistently been shown to be among the most destructive factors in both intact and divorced families. Currently, we have an epidemic of children caught up in the chaos and turmoil of parental conflict.
Calling all divorce mediators: inside the mind of a divorce lawyer
Geoff Sharp 07/21/2008
When next at mediation a jaded divorce attorney collapses in the chair nearest to you, remember this has been their journey; 'Dear client, I am pleased that you have hired me to represent you in your divorce. I'm pleased because I need the money you and others like you pay me. I'm tired of working with people like you who are always fighting and never happy, and often unhappy with me, but I feel trapped now and don't know how I could change my practice at this point in my career without a ...
Frequently Asked Questions about Children and Divorce
Paula Levy 07/07/2008
This article addresses the challenge of communicating with children about a divorce.
Secret To A Successful Divorce: Instead Of An Attorney Use Self-Help, Mediation Or Collaborative Law
Ed Sherman 03/31/2008
As a family-law attorney for over 35 years, I can tell you that the secret to a successful divorce is to minimize your involvement with the legal system and to avoid using lawyers who work in it. Where one spouse is a controller abuser—5 to 10 percent of all cases—this advice does not apply, but for everyone else, going to an attorney as your first step is the worst thing you can possibly do and court is the worst possible place to settle divorce disagreements.
Preview: "Views from the Eye of the Storm Family Edition" - 2 DVDs
This is a preview of "Family Mediation Edition" from's Video Series "Views from the Eye of the Storm" with this DVD featuring 27 of the most experienced family mediators in the world. Full information and ordering are available at
Mediating A Custody Crisis Can Be Better Than Going Back To Court
Cynthia M. Fox 12/21/2009
When professional mediation can’t bring the disputants together, then the last and least attractive option is going back to court.
Turning Parents Into People
Michael Jacobs 11/30/2009
In the world of family mediation, the ‘best interests of the children’ often take central stage. There is much to argue for in this position. While not ignoring the voice of the child, we may also need to spend time reflecting on what it might mean to also work in the ‘best interests of adults’.
Divorcing Couples Can Save A Lot Of Money With Mediation
Cynthia M. Fox 11/23/2009
One of the hardest things about divorce is its cost, not just emotionally and psychologically, but in cold hard cash. A typical scenario is a husband, wife and two attorneys. Add the expense of outside experts if there are disputes over who can better parent their children or the valuation of an asset such as a business that one or both owns, and the bottom line is fees well into five figures for each party.
Good Job Ari!
Jeff Thompson 11/09/2009
Honorable Mention was awarded to Ari Fontecchio of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law for his essay entitled “Naming, Framing and Taming: Why Timing and Emotional Intelligence Really Matter in Crisis Intervention. Ari interviewed me months ago on how I, along with the entire NYPD Community Affairs Bureau, used various conflict resolution skills during the emotionallly charged Tibetan Protests in New York City during the Spring of 2008.
‘Bad Dad’ Emerges As Better Dad’
Arnold W. Zeman 10/19/2009
The text below is taken from vol. 1 issue 2 of”Conflict Chronicles” of October 15th, an email newsletter published by the Conflict Resolution Center of the University of North Dakota:
Don't Get Lassoed!
Debra Synovec 08/24/2009
You are the best alternative to a litigated solution. Traditional litigation can make you feel like you have been hung out to dry.
Run Toward Fear
Debra Synovec 08/17/2009
People in the midst of divorce are often extremely overcome with fear caused by the overwhelming change in their life. Pressure from fear of the unknown, triggered by questions such as: “How will the divorce affect the children?” “How will I survive financially?” “What will people think?” “Where will I live?”, coupled by anger and raw emotions, drives people to run away, looking for a place to “solve” the questions and expunge the fear. In their flight, divorcing clients regularly run to attorneys, hoping to be saved by the courts, only to find out that the situation then spirals even more out of their control, magnifying the fears, stress and trauma.
What is Marital Mediation or Mediation To Stay Married?
Angela Ioana Green 08/13/2009
Mediation to Stay Married (also known as Marital Mediation) is a mediation process for couples who are experiencing marital problems or difficulties and who would prefer to stay together, work through their issues in a constructive way, who are willing to learn to resolve conflict and who wish to avoid divorce.
Mediating Civil Harassment Petitions With A Few More Thoughts On Gatesgate
Victoria Pynchon 07/27/2009
Some people are so dangerous and some situations so volatile that restraining orders are of little use. Consider this tragic tale of the courthouse shooting of a woman who had "secured restraining orders that prohibited [her former husband] from possessing or carrying any firearms, that ordered him to turn over his firearms to his lawyer, and that prohibited [him] from being 'within 100 yeards of any firearm' while in the presence of [his ex-wife] Eileen and [the couple's] children."
Governor Sanford – Give Marital Mediation a Try!
Laurie Israel 07/07/2009
Like many mediators, I am pained to read accounts of celebrity brethren who struggle with their marriages. The media is insistent. The lights are glaring. Celebrities experience their marital problems under a microscope of public view. Yet, the problems they face are the same as many clients. The big issues are infidelity, money, perceptions of lack of contribution, boredom, lack of respect, spending no time together, and issues raised by children and in-law families. Divorce is not the inevitable end. Governor Sanford, I encourage you and your wife to give Marital Mediation a try!
How To Resolve Parenting Disputes
Arnold W. Zeman 06/22/2009
We recently featured a video clip of an interview with Justice Harvey Brownstone of the North Toronto Family Court in which he brought to life the principle of acting in the best interests of the child. Here now are his 10 tips for success in resolving parenting disputes from his book, Tug of War: A Judge’s Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles and the Bitter Realities of Family Court:
Asking The Questions
Debra Synovec 05/25/2009
Choosing your divorce mediator is personal. Think about it. You’ll be discussing and making decisions about the things you care about most…..your children, your home, your money, your future, your security, your life. Interview the mediator, ask questions, and make sure they are knowledgeable, dedicated and compassionate. If they will not talk with you before you start, don’t hire them. I have never met a dedicated, compassionate, knowledgeable mediator that is unwilling to talk with a potential client.
Marital Mediation: An Emerging Area Of Practice
This article describes the process of “Marital Mediation” as a relatively new field of family mediation, designed to keep couples together using established family mediation techniques. Previously many of these techniques were used solely in divorce mediation. We begin by describing what the process involves, how it differs from both couples counseling and divorce mediation, and why we believe it often works for couples when counseling has not. We also discuss suggestions for promoting the development of Marital Mediation using both research and marketing techniques.
Marital Mediation For Family Mediators
John Fiske 04/07/2009
If you are a family mediator, you might expand your practice to offer mediation to help couples stay married. The process, called “marital mediation,” uses the specific settlement focus of mediation to preserve a marriage in ways not attempted by family therapy. The process uses your family mediation skills to help couples negotiate new terms for their marriage. Couples may use mediation to enter into a written post-marital contract defining their own solutions.
Concurrent Mediation Of Parental Disputes And Of Parent-Teen Conflicts
Cory Mathews 03/30/2009
The article examines the dilemma for parents facing disputes over parenting arrangements for teenagers. It describes the complex intersection of teen development and parental decision-making. It can be particularly difficult for parents to resolve the disputes between themselves while teens are asserting their own independence. Parents may be faced with increasing conflicts with their ex-partner and with their teen at the same time. The article suggests that mediators explore the opportunity for concurrent mediation, in which parent-teen mediation is offered at the same time as domestic relations mediation between parents. The article suggests that the combination may yield positive results on both conflict-laden fronts.
Everything is Negotiable
We Americans generally accept the stated price of goods and services as non-negotiable. I found this assumption to be inaccurate before the financial downturn. It is even more inaccurate now.
Top Ten Ways To Protect Your Kids From The Fallout Of A High Conflict Break-Up
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. 03/23/2009
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. is a groundbreaking clinical psychologist and researcher who began studying the impact of divorce on children in 1968. Joan is an author, therapist, mediator, and parenting coordinator with four decades of experience working with high conflict parents who are separating.
Choose Facilitation!
So the first thing to ask a mediator is: Do you use a facilitave style or an evaluative or directive style?
Don't Use "Force"
Bill Eddy 03/09/2009
“I won’t force the children to go with the other parent,” is one of the statements I hear sometimes from parents going through a separation or divorce. This statement has become so common (three times in one day recently), that a short article on this subject may be helpful.
Mediation Steps
What are the steps involved in mediation?
Saying Good-bye!
Tip: Remember to NOT fall in love with a particular asset. It may be best to simply say good-bye.
Key To The Puzzle!
Divorce mediation is a client centered, transparent, flexible process that allows clients to create a plan that meets their unique needs and goals based on their circumstances. But what if the divorce clients do not have the information and skills they need to make decisions?
A Question Of Ethics
Darrell Puls 02/09/2009
More and more frequently I hear complaints about mediators who tell their clients what is or is not acceptable, particularly for settlements in divorce cases. So much for self-determination and impartiality!
Chose Your Future!
Money Talk!
Most people don't have piles of money to burn....especially when they are getting divorced!
They Started To Fight When The Money Got Tight
Richard Sharp 12/29/2008
This article asks must differences over scarce and limited financial resources be determined by divorce court room battles? In answer it suggests that choosing the right method in the beginning could save separating and divorcing couples, time, money and tears in the long term.
Stocking Stuffer!
Holidays are a busy, stressful time of the year whether you are in the process of getting divorced or not….so why add stress by bringing up taxes? Because taking a little time to do tax planning may save you substantial tax dollars!
Peace and Joy!
Holidays can be a sad and stressful time for people in the midst of divorce... but you do have a choice about how you celebrate the holidays! Most people want to have peace and joy in the Holiday Present rather than being haunted by the Ghost of Holidays Past! Here are some ideas.
Keep Kids Out Of The Middle!
Do you want your children to thrive after divorce? First, learn to communicate respectfully and stop saying negative things about the other least when the children can hear. Keep your children are out of the middle and take steps to prevent parental alienation. Mediation can help.
5 Realities About Prenuptial Agreements -- Why Having One May Be a Bad Choice for Your Marriage
Laurie Israel 11/24/2008
Recently many articles have been appearing on the internet extolling the virtues of entering into a prenuptial or premarital agreement prior to your marriage. I offer the following reflections from my practice of law and work as a mediator to strongly counter the idea that prenuptial agreements have no “cost” and provide only benefit to a marrying couple.
When To Start Mediation
It is in your hands… can contain the flames by choosing mediation. You can start mediation anytime, but the best time to start is in the beginning of the divorce process.
Telling The Children
Keep your children from feeling they have to choose! How parents tell their children about the divorce sets the stage for how the parents will co-parent in the future and has a significant impact on whether the children thrive………no matter what you do legally, both of you will continue to be parents.
The Best Interests of the Children
Nancy Hudgins 10/27/2008
We encourage parents during divorce to put their children first. This can be hard to do when you are in the middle of conflict. It reminds me of a cartoon in which a guy is standing on a sidewalk and there’s a sign above him with an arrow pointing down to where he’s standing which says: “In the Thick of It.”
Wild Ride!
Debra Synovec 10/21/2008
The stock market’s been a wild ride over the past year and unlike rides in amusement parks the ride is NOT amusing! The situation increases anxiety for divorcing couples who are already stressed out and feeling the pressure of financial shortage….and it creates havoc for asset valuations.
No Dukes
Nancy Hudgins 10/14/2008
I liken litigation to duking it out. There are three main drawbacks to litigation. (Yes, this blog has a bias.)
Open The Door To A Better Future!
Isn’t mediating in the same room only for couples who are cooperative?
Blended Families: Protecting Children The Second Time Around
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 10/06/2008
Second marriages are a time for new beginnings, dreams of romance and adventure may abound. Then, too, there are the concerns. Most disturbing of all are the worries that center around entitlements of children.
John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award Presented to Peter Salem

Peter Salem, Executive Director of the Association of Family Conciliation Courts, was awarded the John M. Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award by the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) at its Eighth Annual Conference, September 24-27, 2008 in Austin, Texas.
Contemplating My Navel and Conflict Resolution
Laurie Israel 09/14/2008
At my age, I find my thoughts wandering backwards in time, with long-lost memories bubbling up occasionally. I ponder these memories and cherish them. I parse them for meaning, like dreams in the night remembered suddenly the next day, with a jolt of recognition into their inner meaning.
Betty Manley, 65, Squeezed So Much Life Out of New Heart
A tiny spitfire of a woman, Betty Manley was known as the grandmother of Georgia mediators — a pioneer who zipped around the world teaching others how to peacefully resolve conflicts.
Report from the Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts
In February of 2007 the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts brought together a working group of thirty-seven experienced practitioners and researchers to identify and explore conceptual and practical tensions that have hampered effective work with families in which domestic violence has been identified or alleged. Five central sets of issues were raised at the conference and are discussed in this report. These include the following: differentiation among families experiencing domestic violence; screening and triage; participation by families in various processes and services; appropriate outcomes for children; and family court roles and resources. The report emphasizes the need for continued multidisciplinary collaboration in order to better serve families affected by domestic violence and it includes an appendix of consensus points as well as suggestions for formation of ongoing work groups.
Mediation just a quarter of the cost of lawyer-to-lawyer settlements
Geoff Sharp 01/21/2008
Apparently David Hoffman's Boston Law Collaborative has analyzed 199 of its recent divorce cases, and found that mediation, collaborative divorce and litigation all produced high rates of successful settlement.Mediation was by far the least expensive option, with a median cost of $6,600, compared to $19,723 for a collaborative divorce, $26,830 for settlements negotiated by rival lawyers, and $77,746 for full-scale litigation
Divorce-proof your Marriage with Mediators
Dina Beach Lynch 12/31/2007
December is the most popular month for popping the question, which fills this mediator with loads of holiday cheer. Why? A skillful family or marriage mediator can build a practice by assisting couples to answer the second big question: I will, then what?According to a Boston Globe article, couples, who were once surrounded my family and friends who could offer marriage advice, now need a different kind of support system to navigate the challenges of learning to live together and be happily...
Making Referrals To Divorce Mediation
Georgia Daniels 12/31/2007
Frequently, marriage and family therapists may sense that a couple is headed toward divorce, but feel unprepared to recommend divorce mediation because they are unfamiliar with the potential benefits of mediation for their clients. This article introduces the referring professional to the benefits of divorce mediation, gives an overview of the process, provides criteria to look for when making referrals, and discusses how to best support clients who continue in therapy while the mediation is in progress.
The Scope of Divorce Mediation: A Question For Namibia
John Ford 09/23/2007
Namibian society can be characterized as a patriarchy. Women are not treated equally and experience discrimination at all levels of society, especially in the family. Spousal abuse and domestic violence is openly acknowledged as “a widespread and serious problem.” Constitutionally there is gender equality and discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited. However existing laws, customs and practices operate to constrain the full realization of the constitution's noble aspirations. There is general acceptance that the substantive aspects of the law of marriage and divorce are in need of reform. But what about the procedural reform? Divorce mediation is one possibility. In 1999 the Legal Assistance Center (LAC) in Namibia, commissioned me to write a paper on the procedural aspects of the law of divorce and how it can be reformed. This extract, which reflects the legal landscape of that time, focuses on the scope of divorce mediation.
How to Save Your Marriage – How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help a Marriage
Laurie Israel 07/23/2007
One of the most interesting and fulfilling parts of my law practice is to assist people who are contemplating divorce or in the midst of divorcing. I consider this work in helping people though a very significant transition in life quite meaningful. An attorney applies all of his or her legal knowledge in dealing with divorce issues – financial, real estate, pension, and tax law. In addition, all the attorney’s personal experiences, plus knowledge gained through his or her practice are used to address the personal issues in a divorce – anger, grief, fear, and issues involving children.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Brian James 07/09/2007
Divorce mediation is about you and your soon to be ex-spouse deciding your own divorce and what is best for the both of you and most importantly, your children. In mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party, the mediator, and with their help, you work through the issues you need to resolve so the two of you can end your marriage as amicably and cost effective as possible.
Parables For Divorce Mediations And Negotiations
Sharon Lowenstein 05/21/2007
If one picture is worth a thousand words, an appropriately told parable may be worth even more than a thousand words. A simple story that conveys an obvious teaching can gently evoke an “ah-ha” powerful enough to illuminate clouded thinking or to pry open a locked mind.
Mulford Mediation Pioneers Communication Alternative To Divorce Litigation
Gretchen L.H. O’Brien 05/21/2007
Attorney Philip Mulford offers full-time dedication to divorce mediation. He estimates 90 percent of the couples who go through mediation successfully create a mutually acceptable agreement.
Conflict Resolution Professionals and Divorce
John Willis 04/16/2007
Divorce is a painful and seemingly, but not actually, ironic experience for professionals who work in conflict management. We are knowledgeable and skilled in prevention and intervention in various conflicts and perhaps are very successful, yet often find ourselves in unhealthy marriages. Our spouses and children mockingly may say, “Physician, heal thyself.” This essay focuses on this paradox.
Mediating In Your Own Backyard: Family Mediation Without Divorce
Jan Frankel Schau 09/11/2006
Summertime can be trying when you’ve got a house full of teenagers at home, and this summer, mine was no different. Conflict abounded and reached a peak one hot August evening when my daughter’s puppy got into my son’s room, destroying his favorite wallet, sunglass case and a $20.00 bill! What’s a mother to do?
Contemplating Divorce? Consider Mediation
Philip Mulford 08/13/2006
This article gives an overview of the benefits of mediation vs. divorce litigation.
Gay Divorce?
Matthew McCusker 05/08/2006
The topic of same-sex marriage has recently become a major “hot-button” issue for policymakers and judicial circuits at the local, state, and national levels. While the determination of procedure has remained in the domain of legislatures and courthouses, same-sex couples have continued to create long-term relationships that have resulted in intertwined lives. Consequently, there has also been an increasing need for assistance and direction for couples during same-sex partnership dissolutions.
Imagine... A Collaborative Approach To Divorce
Gary Direnfeld 05/01/2007
There is a movement in family law whereby divorcing couples can sign agreements with lawyers to not go to court. More specifically, the process is known as Collaborative Family Law (CFL) and the agreement to not go to court is binding upon the lawyers, not the couple. If one or both clients are unsatisfied, either may still march the dispute to court. They will however have to find new lawyers.
Metaphors for Divorce Mediations and Negotiations
Sharon Lowenstein 02/06/2006
Language conveys attitudes, mind-sets and perspectives. The choice of words influences behavior and is influenced by behavior. Whereas litigation subjects parties to a a roll of the dice, collaborative law and mediation put clients in the driver's seat.The skillful use of metaphors can subtly and efficiently redefine conflict as challenge and facilitate fruitful problem solving. This article suggests how to mix and match metaphors which are particularly useful for cutting to the chase and putting clients on the same page.
Mediating Divorce Agreements
Matthew McCusker 01/30/2006
When looking at the multitude of contexts where mediation is now being utilized, divorce mediation stands out as one of the fastest growing fields. The courts have decided to place an emphasis on providing couples with the opportunity to fashion their own agreement, rather than asking judges to deduce acceptable terms.
Forget Harmony, Settle for Peace
Gary Direnfeld 11/19/2007
An oft-common mistake working with high conflict separated parents is to move them towards getting along and working cooperatively for the well-being of their children. It is a lofty and noble goal unfortunately far beyond the grasp of folks who would likely prefer to see the other disappear for a more immediate and permanent solution to the conflict. The more they are pushed together, the more intense the conflict.
Situación de los Puntos de Encuentro Familiar en España
Franco Conforti 11/12/2007
Sabido es para los aquí presentes que las formulas tradicionales de resolver los conflictos de pareja, llámense estas formas separación o divorcio han mostrado en algunos casos, retardo, ineficacia, inequidad, etc.; en ocasiones ello a alimentado al litigio, prolongando el conflicto en el tiempo y deteriorando o atentando a que los hijos logren relacionarse de forma igual y/o equilibrada con sus padres, llegando a extremos de forzarlos (cuando cuentan con edad suficiente para hacerlo) a elegir con cual de sus progenitores relacionarse.
Tips For Parents Engaged In The Collaborative Family Law Process
Gay Cox 10/29/2007
You are to be commended for choosing Collaborative Practice as the means to solve any problems that you and your children’s other parent might have because you decided to separate. It is evident that you want the best possible outcome for your children and see this as a means of achieving it. Based on experience with families who select this method of problem-solving, it is apparent that they tend to have some very important common values and goals. It may be helpful to you to learn what parents who have been successful in accomplishing these goals have used as their strategies.
FAQs About Mediation To Stay Married
Laurie Israel 10/07/2007
Mediation to Stay Married (also known as Marital Mediation) is a method of helping couples who are experiencing marital problems and would prefer to stay together rather than get divorced. This article answers common questions about the process
Conflict Addiction – Barriers To Settling
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. 05/28/2007
I was moved to write this article because of my experience of a conflict in my own life. After I had managed to “move on,” I began to think about how compelling this very small dispute had become to me; how much of my thought and psychic energy had been consumed by it. I began to wonder if there is not something especially engrossing about conflict; why we can get hooked into a conflict, and keep the arguments going and going and going, even when the person with whom we are in conflict is not in the room; and whether conflict in and of itself has an addictive quality, that causes us to keep returning to it, arguing our case again and again.
Domestic Violence and Mediation: Concerns and Recommendations
Anita Vestal 05/14/2007
This article synthesizes recommendations of several researchers and studies conducted during the 1990's to develop a mediation protocol that addresses concerns about the efficacy of mediating with couples who have a history of domestic violence. In addition to suggested techniques and procedures, the article concludes with insights into the societal issues of violence and a long-term strategy for reducing the incidence of domestic abuse.
Desperate Housewives
Geoff Sharp 02/19/2007
Ok, it's 9.25pm on Monday night. I'm posting at 9.35pm. Desparate Housewives is wrapping up. We're all on the couch. It's the episode where Bree gets married then Gaby and Carlos find their embryo was switched at the fertility clinic. They sit in the car on the way home. He says 'at least the divorce will be simpler without a baby' She says 'yeah, I suppose' Wait for it...he then says 'yeah, see you at the mediators' Did I hear right? What he doesn't say is ' see you in...
Taking The High Road
Nancy Kramer 08/07/2006
The man and woman who came to me for a divorce mediation were both in their 50’s, attractive and successful. She was a reporter for a prestigious newspaper and he a prominent local TV newscaster. They had been together for 20 years and had two children, ages 10 and 13. His income and future income potential was very high and hers above average and secure. In addition, they expected a substantial inheritance in the future. Their lifestyle was very comfortable, if not lavish, of which they were both aware.
Mediation: When The Alternative Is Unacceptable
Gene D. Barr 05/29/2006
It is not the intent of this article to debate the issue of marriage. What marriage is, should be, and who may be joined in civil and holy matrimony, is left to greater minds. This article is about the inequity of law that committed - unmarried couples suffer when ending their relationships, the lack of a structured process by which they may resolve the issues confronted when doing so and the legal void that mediation effectively fills.
Premarital Mediation Checklist
Diana Mercer 05/29/2006
More couples are adding "prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement" on their wedding planning checklist. Many people have found that prenuptial agreement mediation can be the friendliest approach to an often uncomfortable topic. This article covers important topics and questions that couples and mediators should think about when entering into premarital agreement mediation.
Interview of Stephanie Coontz
Robert Benjamin 03/05/2006
This is an interview with Stephanie Coontz on the role of negotiation in marriage, family and divorce. Stephanie Coontz is a Professor of History and Family Studies at Evergreen State College in Evergreen, Washington, and the Director of Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families. She is the author of "Marriage, A History" (2005), "The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalga Trap" (1993) and "The Way We Really Are: Ending the War Over America’s Changing Famliies" (1998).
The Family Law Education Reform Report Completed
Andrew Schepard 02/13/2006
Does the law school’s family law curriculum adequately prepare future family lawyers for the challenges of practice? The Report’s answer is “not well,” a conclusion that requires reconsideration of the nature and purposes of legal education in an area central to the welfare of thousands of children and parents.
Mediating the Employment Divorce
Gene Moscovitch 12/29/2004
Many attorneys and mediators alike shun divorce cases (perhaps understandably), but in doing so incorrectly conclude that there is little or nothing of value to be learned in the area that would be of assistance in resolving employment disputes.
Divorce Mediation Leads To A Lasting Resolution
The positive and transforming effects of mediation can have a lasting effect beyond the context of the dispute at hand. The following is a first person story of such a change. In this particular instance, the mediation community is an indirect beneficiary of the resolution of this family dispute, as the author of the story recently completed mediation training, and is a volunteer mediator with a community-based mediation service.
If You Must... Divorce Lovingly
Timothy J. Mordaunt 08/16/2004
Divorce Lovingly, are probably two words you thought you would never see used together. Mediation (not meditation) presents a viable alternative to litigation for couples who are separating and divorcing.
The Psychology Of Divorce
Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D. & Chip Rose, JD, CFLS
In helping couples to successfully negotiate the ending of their marital relationship, it is vital for the divorce professional to understand the underlying dynamics of the family as a system and of the divorce process; the professional must grasp how the divorce crisis influences and is influenced by both family structure and family process.
Psychological Aspects Of Divorce: A Primer For Mediators and Collaborative Lawyers
Offra Gerstein 02/02/2004
Divorce is an action born out of lost hope by one or both partners about their marriage. It is important for mediators and collaborative lawyers to be aware of the complexity of emotions associated with the three patterns of divorces.
Mandatory Mediation: Implications and Challenges
Jeff Rifleman 12/19/2005
Divorce Mediation. Mandatory Mediation. Good Faith Medation. Alternative Dispute Resolution. Arbitration. These are all terms and programs that contemporary judicial systems are using in attempts to reduce overfilled court dockets, costly trials and the time it takes for parties to resolve their differences. Are these programs just another way to resolve conflicts, or are they restricting access and rights to traditional court lititgation?
How Children Contribute To Custody Disputes (Part II)
Donald T. Saposnek 10/16/2005
Children's limited comprehension of the meaning and implications for them of their parents' breakup creates terrible confusion and emotional upset and generates characteristic attempts to cope with the disruption. However, the limited means they have for expressing their needs makes it difficult for their parents to accurately recognize and address those needs.
How Children Contribute To Custody Disputes (Part I)
Donald T. Saposnek 10/17/2005
Children's limited comprehension of the meaning and implications for them of their parents' breakup creates terrible confusion and emotional upset and generates characteristic attempts to cope with the disruption. However, the limited means they have for expressing their needs makes it difficult for their parents to accurately recognize and address those needs.
Who Started It Doesn’t Necessarily Matter!
Gary Direnfeld 08/15/2005
Sitting between parents in a high conflict situation with regard to custody and access issues is like watching the scarecrow in the Wizard of OZ. However, with separated parents they are both pointing at each other, each blaming the other for initiating and maintaining their conflict. In many instances, both have contributed to their mutual conflict and hence both feel justified at incriminating the other. Regardless of who started it, in many instances it is clear, they both maintain it. As a concept this is known as circular causality.
How Transformative Mediation Can Help Divorcing Couples
Daniel Bjerknes 08/08/2005
Family relationships are on-going, even though the marriage is over, so couples that are able to spend time in mediation preparing, discussing, and planning how life may be after the divorce will minimize the stress and conflict often associated with the separation process.
Conflict Resolution Tips for Divorcing Couples
Oran Kaufman 05/02/2005
Mediation provides clients with a safe venue to discuss their divorce. Mediation however will not automatically undo years of ingrained behavior. Mediators and therapists can offer clients tools which will help them mentally and emotionally for the divorce process. Below are a few suggestions. At the end of this article, I have included a Conflict Self-Assessment tool as well as an outline of this article which you can give to clients engaged in the divorce mediation process.
Family Law Education Reform Project Initial Draft of Findings and Recommendations
This memorandum is intended as an initial draft of what we hope ultimately to shape into a final report of the The Family Law Education Reform Project. Interim drafts are designed to mark the on-going status of the project, and to furnish an opportunity for the many stakeholders and interested parties in this process to provide input.
If You're Divorcing, Consider Mediation
Ellie Stoddard 01/12/2005
If you or someone you know is considering, or in the process of getting, a divorce, there's something you should know. There's a way to go through the process that could contain hostilities, save spouses lots of time, and money, and leave the parties more intact when the process is done. That way is mediation.
Elder Decisions in Elder Mediation
Elder mediation brings family members and professionals together to address the major life changes inherent in the aging process. In these mediations, the issues most families raise involve housing transitions, financial control, and new and difficult conversations between parents and adult children. Through skillful mediation, seniors and their families can gain control of what is important to them and protect family relationships in the process.
Coming to Grips With the Financial Fear Factor
Donna Smalldon 04/19/2004
One of the biggest sources of stress between spouses is money. Particularly if the couple is breaking up, a lack of familiarity with family finances and financial planning can cause anxiety levels to go off the charts. In mediation, that anxiety can present itself as tears, withdrawal, temper, or any of a host of emotions that aren’t very conducive to the process.
Children’s Reactions To The News Of Divorce: What They Need From You
Donald T. Saposnek 12/14/2003
The discomfort of parents talking to children about their upcoming divorce is often exaggerated by worries about how the children will react. Parents frequently worry that their children will not be able to handle the news, will fall apart, will be sad or angry forever, or worse, will hate the parents for life. While children certainly do not generally take kindly to hearing that their parents are splitting up, they initially do respond in fairly typical ways that are in accord with their developmental stages.
How the Web Can Help Children of Divorce (and their parents…)
JP Stonestreet 06/23/2003
Research conducted by Hofstra University shows that it’s not the divorce that hurts the children, but instead, it’s the ongoing hostility between their parents that is most harmful. One alternative is to use web-based collaboration software designed to improve communication between divorced parents and to help them regain or maintain control of their busy and stressful lives.
What Should We Tell the Children? Developing a Mutual Story of the Divorce
Donald T. Saposnek 10/21/2002
One of the most typical questions asked of me by parents who are beginning the divorce process is, “What should we tell the children and how should we tell them?” Most parents, understandably, feel awful in having to tell their children about their pending divorce and how all their lives are going to be permanently changed.
Divorce Mediation: Participant's Exercises
Lois Gold 07/22/2002
The following exercises have been excerpted from the book BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE: A GUIDE TO CIVILIZED DIVORCE by Lois Gold, M.S.W. These exercises can be used in conjunction with mediation or the parties can work with them on their own.
How Are The Children Of Divorce Doing?
Donald T. Saposnek 02/04/2002
A recent Time magazine article asked “Does Divorce Hurt Kids?” and presented the conclusions from the two longest term studies of children of divorce. These two authors came to very different conclusions about the long-term effect of divorce on children. Which of these authors has an accurate handle on the effects of divorce on children?
Divorce Mediation and the Internet
Jim Melamed 05/08/2003
The Internet is changing the way divorce mediation is practiced and experienced. Learn how the Internet is becoming an ever more integral part of effective and affordable divorce mediation services and programs.
Tipping Points - Reasons Why Mediation Works in Complex Family Disputes
Rikk Larsen 09/29/2003
Timing is everything. In complex family disputes the simple fact is that mediation can be the forum for positive change, the tipping point, but it needs a number of preconditions to be successful.
Michael Scott 11/18/2002
There are many threatening and frightening things that happen to individuals whose relationship ends up in separation or divorce. A successful divorce is one in which the parents divorce each other but do not require the child to divorce one of the parents, either as a result of parental conflict or by one parent not being available to the child.
Collaborative Family Law: A Path Beyond Winning
Gay Cox 06/17/2002
This paper is written in furtherance of the goal of increasing the number of practitioners willing to engage in the practice of law collaboratively so that the pool of attorneys available to the ever-increasing number of clients seeking the service is adequate to meet the demand.
Mediator Neutrality: How is it possible?
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. 03/11/2002
How could a mediator be neutral about your situation when you are getting divorced? Surely one of you is right and the other is wrong! If you know in your bones – and all of your friends agree – that you are right, you may think that mediation would not make sense for you, because you don’t want to compromise.
Mediating Family Disputes in a World with Domestic Violence: How to Devise a Safe and Effective Court-Connected Mediation Program
The ultimate goal of this Paper is to make suggestions in order to maximize the safety and effectiveness of court-connected programs. Part I of this Paper will examine some of the arguments against utilizing mediation in the domestic relations area. Part II will highlight some of the arguments in favor of utilizing court-connected mediation programs in the area of family law, as well as rebut the concerns discussed in Part I. Finally, Part III will explore some of the options available to courts to set up a safe and effective court-connected domestic relations mediation program.
Mediator's Introduction to the GET (Jewish Divorce)
Adam Berner 10/22/2001
Many experienced family and divorce mediators are familiar with the term "Get" and are aware of its relevance when a Jewish couple seeks a religious divorce. But as often is the case with religious concepts and procedures, the Get, for many, is shrouded in mystery. It represents an aspect of divorce that many professionals tend to refer to outside experts for answers, explanations and arrangements. In truth, there is no need for all the mystery.
Divorce American Style
Mediation might soon be the new $9 billion market niche in the American divorce industry, says mediation cheerleader, Woody Mosten. Hillary Johnson examines this booming legal trend.
Factors Predictive Of Divorce Mediator Style
Sarah Childs Grebe, DSW 07/16/2001
The specific hypothesis tested in the study was: family mediator style is associated with and can be predicted by several factors: profession-of-origin; various aspects of interpersonal behavior, (interpersonal style, personal conflict style and leadership style); and socialization. By demonstrating the association between profession-of-origin and mediation style, the study has helped to clarify the theory base of family mediation, with implications for the training of mediators and for the delivery of mediation services.
Foreword to The Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation
Association of Family & Conciliation Courts
The Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation are the family mediation community’s definition of the role of mediation in the dispute resolution system in the twenty-first century. They are the latest milestone in a nearly twenty year old effort by the family mediation community to create standards of practice that will increase public confidence in an evolving profession and provide guidance for its practitioners.
Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation
The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
These Model Standards have been adopted by AFCC, ACR and and 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; and
3. to promote public confidence in mediation 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.
How To Represent Parties Who Choose Private Divorce Mediation
Michael Becker, Esq. 03/19/2001
As private mediation becomes an accepted method of resolving the issues presented in a divorce, increasing numbers of clients are asking lawyers to provide a new kind of service, as “consulting counsel” for them in the mediation. Since most clients in mediation choose to confer with legal counsel at some point in the process, this has created a new area of practice for family lawyers. And it has raised significant questions concerning how to practice in this new field. The purpose of this article is to help family lawyers to define this new role.
Can You Have a Mediated Divorce If You Are Angry At Your Spouse?
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. 03/07/2001
Anger is a normal feeling to have during a divorce. In fact, if you didn’t feel angry there would probably be something very wrong. Usually, one person has been unhappy for a period of time preceding the divorce, and was angry during this time. When that person tells the other that he or she has decided to leave the marriage, the other is in shock and has to deal with lots of emotions – sorrow, fear and certainly anger.
Would I Prefer Mediation For My Divorce?
Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. 01/11/2001
Mediation is a process where you and your spouse will sit down with a neutral person who will help you, sometimes with and most often without attorneys present, to negotiate the terms of your divorce. Attorney/Mediator Green reflects on her personal practice to answers some of the common questions about divorce mediation: do mediated divorces reflect the law?, is my case appropriate for mediation? , and what are the benefits of mediation?
Collaborative Law Makes Messy Divorce Thing of the Past
In fact, in collaborative law, couples agree in advance to spend their time, effort and money on settling their issues, not on litigation. Attorneys and any other outside professionals brought into the process also agree in advance that they will not go to court. Unlike litigation, which can take up to two years, collaborative law divorces take about 6 months on average to hammer out agreements between couples.
Choosing A Divorce Mediator
Julie Denny 07/03/2000
Finding and selecting a mediator can be easier if you follow some simple steps. In the best of circumstances, divorce is an uncomfortable process. Take the time to assure you have a mediator whom you like, respect and believe to be qualified to help both of you negotiate that equitable settlement.
The Not So Gentle Art of Letting Go
Barry Simon 08/08/2001
As our marriages or domestic partnerships break apart, we make demands, expecting our soon to be ex-spouses to behave the way we wanted them to behave during the relationship. Unfortunately, waiting around for these unrealistic expectations to occur is a losing proposition.
Mediation of Gay/Lesbian Marriages Not Found in Court
Richard Gordon 08/08/2001
Straight couples can use case law and statutes to untangle their relationships and property. Gay and lesbian couples cannot. The most they can hope for from the law is to be treated as a failed partnership: a business entity. One solution for this problem is Mediation.
How Language Shapes our Thinking: Towards a “Parenting Plan”
Donald T. Saposnek 07/06/2001
There certainly are many couples who still will fight through their divorces, and, wars around the world will still occur. However, this simple change in the language within family law has optimized the good will and cooperation of many separated and divorcing parents, thus assuring more protection of their children from inter-parental discord. And, thus, another major benefit of mediation over litigation is realized...the shift from war to peace.
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse: Neglect Screening for Domestic Relations Mediation
The development of this Model Protocol was a project of the Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board and provides Screening Resources for Courts and Mediators. The full protocol and screening resources are available in pdf format.
What is Collaborative Law?
Maury Beaulier 04/07/2001
Collaborative law is a new way to resolve disputes by removing the disputed matter from the litigious court room setting and treating the process as a way to "trouble shoot and problem solve" rather than to fight and win.
Family Section Editorial Winter 2001
Donald T. Saposnek 03/03/2001
Family Mediation has found a new home. The Academy of Family Mediators, which, for the past 20 years, has been the premier international professional organization for family mediators has, as of January, 2001, merged with the two other national organizations for alternative dispute resolution – SPIDR (Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution), and CREnet (Conflict Resolution Education Network). The new amalgam organization, called the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) is now the largest membership association in the conflict resolution field, and has as its mission, “ promote peaceful, effective conflict resolution.”
Sample Stipulation For Collaborative Law
Chip Rose 01/08/2001
Petitioner SUSAN SMART and Respondent SAMUEL SMART, and their respective attorneys, enter into the following stipulations with respect to the above-captioned Family Law action now pending before the Court:
Tips For Naive Negotiators: How to improve your chances of getting what you want
Lois Gold 01/18/2001
This is the third in a series of articles by Lois Gold, author of Between Love And Hate: A Guide To Civilized Divorce(Penguin USA 1996). In this article, an excerpt from Chapter 12, Lois provides negotiation tips. Although it is written for separating or divorcing couples, the principles are applicable to any disputants who have had or will continue to have a relationship.
Accessing Your Resources As A Negotiator
Lois Gold 01/18/2001
This is the second in a series of articles by Lois Gold, author of Between Love And Hate: A Guide To Civilized Divorce(Penguin USA 1996). In this article, an excerpt from Chapter 12, Lois focuses on recognizing different negotiating styles and accessing your resources as a negotiator. Although it is written for separating or divorcing couples, the principles are applicable to any disputants who have had or will continue to have a relationship.
Getting Ready To Negotiate
Lois Gold 01/18/2001
This is the first in a series of articles by Lois Gold, author of Between Love And Hate: A Guide To Civilized Divorce(Penguin USA 1996). In this article, an excerpt from Chapter 12, Lois focuses on preparing yourself to be at your best as a negotiator. Although it is written for separating or divorcing couples, the principles are applicable to any disputants who have had or will continue to have a relationship.
Why Collaborative Law?
Maury Beaulier 01/10/2001
Collaborative law is a process that was created by lawyers as a bloodless alternative for resolving family law and divorce issues.
Child Support And Mediation
Norman Pickell 12/14/2000
Perhaps the most important benefit of mediation in child support (and family law) cases is the preservation of the relationship that must exist between parents after separation. Once you are parents, you are parents forever!
Family Section Editorial Fall 2000
Donald T. Saposnek 09/29/2000
I am delighted to serve as Editor for the Family Section of the MIRC collection of informative articles. Thank you for visiting this site. I hope that we provide you with useful information and ideas that you can immediately use in your life and work. Your feedback and suggestions are always welcome.
In Family Law, How is Mediation Different from a Settlement Meeting
Norman Pickell 04/17/2000
I arrange Settlement Meetings for clients. My success rate of settling the case at or shortly after the Settlement Meeting is pretty good. Therefore, I don't need to worry about Mediation ! Besides, Mediation would just add more cost to my client's separation/divorce.
Turn Down the Volume When it Comes to Divorce
Barbara Stark 10/29/1998
There are options for couples who share the goal of ending their marriage in a constructive way, minimizing hostility and damage to all family members. There are three paths to divorce: the conventional adversarial process, a mediated settlement, or a collaborative approach to the process.
What Parents Can Do to Help Children with Divorce
Kathleen O'Connell Corcoran 09/14/1998
A well-known psychologist offers suggestions for what parents can do to support their children's comfort and adjustment to the many realities of divorce.
Getting A Divorce? Why You Should Not Just Fight It Out
Mimi E. Lyster 04/05/1999
Many have traveled the adversarial road, and probably for many of the same reasons. Constant fighting, arguing and blaming in a marriage or similarly committed relationship generally leads to more of the same while dissolving it. Unfortunately, the consequences of continuing this behavior can be dramatic, including protracted litigation, escalating costs, a dramatically reduced standard of living and significant damage to your children’s emotional well-being.
Same Sex Divorce Mediation.
Jonathan Crane 01/01/1999
The Gay Community has, to date, not been as well served. Same sex separations are, of course, every bit as emotionally charged and messy as heterosexual divorces. Property division is far more messy.
Family Mediation: Research Facts
Forrest (Woody) Mosten 08/28/1998
This article organizes family mediation research facts in a manner that provides insight into who chooses to mediate, what makes the mediation process effective, and how participants rate outcome and satisfaction.
What If There Has Been Domestic Violence?
If there has been domestic abuse or violence between you and the other party, you should understand how it can affect the safety and fairness of the mediation process.
Parenting After Marriages End
John Reiman 04/06/1999
The divorce may soon be final, but even before the dust has settled, parents will discover that one responsibility hasn't changed in the slightest: Parents are still accountable for the well-being of their child
European Principles on Family Mediation
Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
On January 21, 1998 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation Number R(98)1 entitled Family Mediation in Europe. The text of the recommendation and principles of family mediation follows.
Proposed Standards of Practice for Lawyers Who Conduct Divorce and Family Mediation
American Bar Association Family Law Section Task Force 07/30/1997
These model Standards of Conduct for lawyers who serve as divorce and family mediators are intended to perform three major functions: (1) to serve as a guide for the conduct of family mediators; (2) to inform the mediating parties; and (3) to promote public confidence in mediation as a process for resolving disputes.


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