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Encourage Young Aspiring Family Mediators to Enter the Field: Their Careers, Your Business, and Our Profession Will Benefit
Michael Aurit 11/20/2015
Has a young aspiring mediator ever approached you—as someone they look up to as an experienced professional—and asked, "I want to become a mediator. Can you give me some advice? Do you think I can ‘make it’ as a mediator?"
Make the Most of Your Mediation: The Single-Family Construction Defect Case
Lynn Duryee 07/30/2015
How can you economically and effectively settle the single-family construction defect case? In a recent mediation involving a homeowner, contractor and 15 subs, the participants used the following practices, which resulted in 16 signed settlements at the end of one day.
Just to be clear: Family Court Doesn’t Resolve Conflict
Gary Direnfeld 07/30/2015
Parents turn to the court thinking a Judge will settle matters and life will be peaceful thereafter. This is far from the truth.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The Future of Family Dispute Resolution: Mediation as a Piece of the Puzzle
Peter Salem 03/20/2015
Had I written about the future of family dispute resolution in the late 1980s, when I was a young and enthusiastic child custody mediator working for a Wisconsin family court agency, I would probably have focused exclusively on mediation rather than considering the current broad spectrum of family dispute resolution (FDR) processes that I did not anticipate at the time.
Family Mediation - Preface
Lisa Parkinson 03/12/2015
The Children and Families Act 2014 is focusing more attention on the role of family mediation in the family justice system. Family mediators have been given greater responsibility to encourage consideration of non-court dispute resolution processes before application is made to the family court, and to assess the suitability of mediation in particular circumstances.
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.
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.
The Importance of Mediation in Family Business Management
Joseph Berljawsky 04/04/2014
Managing a business can be difficult enough—but when your in-laws are the board of directors and your sister is the CEO, management of a family business can also become a contentious issue. Problems related to leadership and ownership of family businesses arise in a variety of situations. Sometimes there is a power struggle, other times people feel they have been treated unfairly or do not get enough of a say in the company.
Mediation Can Help Bridge the Family Divide Created by an Alzheimer's Diagnosis
Halee Burg 04/04/2014
Mediation can support families as they navigate the challenging issues and decisions associated with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Through productive discussions led by an experienced neutral mediator, mediators help family members explore each topic, share perspectives, gather information, reach consensus, and find their way forward.
Marriage 101 for Family Mediators
Larry Gaughan 03/29/2014
Those of us who have been in the trenches of family law practice for decades have lots of experience with bad marriages. We each probably know more gruesome details about marriage breakups than we care to remember. But most of us also know the details to what makes a marriage great.
Mediation Works for Family-Run Enterprises
James MacPherson 01/10/2014
In the Arab World, family firms make up 85 per cent of the region's non-oil GDP. While many are small to medium-sized enterprises - the cornerstone of any successful economy - the success of the GCC economies, coupled with the enterprising minds of business leaders during the region's boom years mean that a significant number of these organisations have become multinational and highly diversified businesses.
Mediating Family Property and Estate Conflicts: Keeping the Peace and Preserving Family Wealth
Jay Folberg 07/22/2015
Of all of the cases I have mediated over the past 30 years, the most challenging and rewarding disputes have been those between family members over family property, estates, trusts and businesses.
The 7 Strategies for Determining Your Parenting Plan
Gary Direnfeld 11/09/2015
The Parenting Plan is the parental agreement setting out how the children will be cared for between separated parents. Essentially, the Parenting Plan is the road map that separated parents will follow for the raising of their kids.
Separated Parents: It’s not Quantum of Time, but Quality of Relationship
Gary Direnfeld 10/30/2015
If you get hung up on the quantum of time with your partner and your children, you may lose sight of the quality of your relationship now and for the future.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Parents Can Do to Help Children with Divorce
Kathleen O'Connell Corcoran 10/18/2015
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.
Fear Comes to School: Mediating Among Parents Around Ebola
Richard Barbieri 11/21/2014
As medical personnel, emergency aid workers, and diplomatic personnel return to the U.S. from West Africa, schools must manage tensions between local families who are fearful for their own children, and parents who have been at the front lines attempting to stem the epidemic. What mediator strategies may prove useful?
Mediation vs. Litigation: To Punish or Not to Punish, That is the Question
Robin Graine 11/13/2015
Many people go into a divorce with swords pulled. They want to get even. They want to punish their spouse for making them feel bad. Humiliated. Depressed. When divorce is not your idea, you may even go into a classic defensive “stall mode” to try and drive the other person a little crazy with angst.
Who Says That Mediation Needs Reclaiming?
William Levine 11/09/2015
These authors assert that most of the traditional values and styles that guide divorce mediation are still applicable. Recognized as "Top 10" Attorney Directory Site! 11/09/2015
Now celebrating our 20th Anniversary, has been recognized as a "Top 10" Attorney Directory by Attorney Rankings. is the overall 9th ranked attorney directory and the only mediation or ADR directory listed.
Fallacies Underlying Common ADR Career Advice Given to Young Professionals
Heather Scheiwe Kulp 10/30/2015
This is the second in a five-part series on advice to law students and young professionals interested in ADR as a career. The series is intended to examine the fallacies our students often hear, and to give us tools for both combating the fallacies and responding with more positive advice.
5 Common Beliefs About Conflict That are Dead Wrong
Tammy Lenski 10/23/2015
I’ve heard the following five common beliefs about conflict repeatedly during my two decades as a mediator, coach, and conflict resolution teacher. All five miss the mark in important ways and we should stop repeating them.
The Hague Convention, Seven Characteristics, and Mediation
Mary Damianakis 10/23/2015
This article discusses the Hague Convention on child abductions. It gives an update on dealing with children in international custody negotiations.
Negotiating with the Dangerous and Highly Unstable
Art Hinshaw 10/16/2015
To share the pain (uh, I mean joy), of negotiating with a toddler, here is the list of 8 characteristics of such negotiation encounters.
Yes, it Does Matter What Others Think of You
Vivian Scott 10/12/2015
If you’re on the Internet at all, you’ve probably seen those quotes floating around social media that are supposed to give you strength, inspire you, or simply provide a chuckle here and there. Some of them can be quite thought provoking; enough so that I often share them myself because I think they’re a quick way to remind us all to be our best, try our hardest, and to generally calm down while we focus on the good things in our lives.
Become a Virtual Judge or Have Your Case Settled on the Net
Patricia Porter 10/12/2015
Brav is a new way for people of any age to find a solution to bullying, violence, and conflict. Find out why this is so important and join our guest, Remi Alli to learn how to settle family, school, and workplace disputes online.
Bad Day at JAMS, Part 1
Dan Simon 10/02/2015
An old friend (I’ll call him Frank) called to tell me he was being sued by a former employer (I’ll call him Owen) for improperly taking customers and trade secrets. I warned Frank that mediations conducted by retired judges often feel silly, meaningless and frustrating to litigants, and that they achieve, best case scenario, a settlement that both sides are unhappy with.
Being Creative with Child Support
Dick Price 09/25/2015
Using the Collaborative Law process, we feel impelled to be creative with solutions, even where there are standard guidelines in the Texas Family Code for such things as how to set child support. In most litigation cases, the child support amount is quickly set by following the standard formula. The Code deals with the amounts of income and the number of children before the Court, as well as considering if there are other children that need to be supported.
Staying Present: What Couples and Mediators Long For
Sarah Peyton 09/18/2015
The most elusive thing in this world is present-time relationship. It is hard enough to be mindful all by ourselves. There is a reason that meditation practices are traditionally done sitting on our own individual cushion and in silence.
Divorce Mediation: The Best Forum for Families with Special Needs Children
Dr. Lynne C. Halem 10/15/2015
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.
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