Larry Gaughan

Larry Gaughan

Larry Gaughan was the Professional Director of Family Mediation of Greater Washington beginning in 1980.  He was admitted to the Bar in Montana in 1957 and in Virginia in 1967.  Larry was a full-time professor at three law schools, Virginia, Washington & Lee, and George Mason.  He did a year in residence at the Georgetown Family Center in 1979-80, during the tenure of Murray Bowen, MD as director.  As an attorney he had an AV® Preeminent™ rating and Top Rated Lawyer™ in the DC/Baltimore Area from Martindale-Hubbell.  He was an Advanced Practitioner member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and a member of the national Professional Mediation Board of Standards.  Larry is the founder of a public interest website on the divorce process, namely He received the Distinguished Mediator of the Year Award for 2017 from the Virginia Mediation Network.

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Articles and Video:

Mediation Field Mourns the Loss of Family Mediation Pioneer Lawrence D. Gaughan (06/28/19)
It is with deep sadness that we learned this week about the passing of Lawrence D. Gaughan, a pioneer professional family mediator.

Spiritual Journeys in a Material World: Thoughts about Spirituality for Divorce Professionals (07/20/18)
This article discusses the spiritual struggle that many of our clients are facing and our role to support them and understand their concerns as they go through divorces and other difficult conflicts.

It’s Not Just the Romantic Stuff That Makes a Marriage Special (12/08/17)
Romance is far from being everything in marriages that grow and thrive, and it’s certainly not the only thing as couples discover the challenges of everyday living.

What ADR Professionals Can Learn from Litigating Divorce Lawyers (10/13/17)
Well over 90% of all divorce cases are resolved by agreements, but there are two divergent methods for negotiating those agreements.

Using ADR Ideas to Negotiate Divorce Agreements (09/01/17)
In negotiating a divorce agreement, it’s important to understand how the spouses negotiated with each other during their marriage.

Marriage, Dystopian Society--A Story about conflict prevention (06/16/17)
This article envisions what it would take, a century in the future, to create a society without any marital strife.

Beyond “Divorce American Style": The Search for a More Responsive Process (06/05/15)
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.

Mediating Divorce Agreements: The Problems and the Potential (02/26/15)
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.

Roles of Religious Culture in Peaceful Settlements (05/09/14)
The area that is now occupied by the United States has always been a place of multiculturalism and religious diversity. This was the case many generations before the arrival of the first undocumented immigrants coming from Spain, England, the Netherlands, and France. Those immigrants had long been preceded by hundreds of different native tribes of somewhat diverse ethnicity, often with different languages and religious practices.

Marriage 101 for Family Mediators (03/29/14)
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.

Demystifying American Divorce Law (01/24/14)
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.