Family & Divorce Mediation Articles
Parent Conflict After Separation: Taking a Closer Look
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.
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.
REVIEW of Ellen Bruno’s DVD, “SPLIT: Divorce Through Kids’ Eyes”
Donald T. Saposnek
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.
Family Mediation UK - Video
This video is produced by the Ministry of Justice in the UK . It highlights the benefits of using mediation for family cases.
Mediating in Cases in Domestic Violence – Between a Rock and a Hard Place
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
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.
Why Couples Are Choosing Mediation in Divorce Cases
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.
Ten Tips for Developing and Drafting Effective Parenting Plans in Mediation
Donald T. Saposnek
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.
Divorcing Parents: Avoid Bringing Your Battles to Court
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.
Getting Unhooked From Interpersonal Conflict
You’re familiar with hooks: Hooks for hanging coats, hooks for fishing, hooks for crocheting, hooks in computer programming, hooks in barbed wire. They share a kindred function: To intercept and snag, to catch and hold. But what is the role of a hook in mediation?
Globalization of Family Mediation Rooted in Children’s Rights
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.
Dealing with Your Ex’s New Other
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.
Love, Eros, and Negotiation
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
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.
We must first recognize our error before we can make things right. While never easy, it is even harder when such recognition requires a public acknowledgement—an apology—to those we have injured. A true apology requires a great deal of humility and includes a sincere expression of regret, changed behavior and, when possible, restitution.
The "Too Attractive" Bias
On Sunday, October 13, 2013, I will be participating in a panel presentation entitled, "Ethical Duties of Eliminating Bias in the Legal Profession" as part of the California State Bar's Eighty Sixth Annual Meeting in San Jose, California. The focus of our discussion will be hidden/implicit biases- those biases that exist within us, subconsciously, if not unconsciously. When do these actually become discrimination?
A Rose by Any Other Name
Most of the leading law school textbooks explain arbitration by describing a case where a party suffers a loss and there is a dispute between the insurance company and the insured. The insured typically places a high value on the subject of the loss, while the insurance company places a lower value.
Co Parenting Strategies
There are 5 strategies that both parents should employ while parenting. These strategies help parents to maintain sanity and keep consistency for their children.
Virtually Everyone is Touched in Some Way By Divorce
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.
Parents' Guide to Protecting Kids' Privacy Online
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.
More Conflict Resolution Tips for Divorcing Couples
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.
A Glass of Wine and the Truth
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.
Fifth Circuit States Terms of Prior Agreements Were Not Incorporated Into Master Settlement Agreement
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”).
The Varying Roles of the Mental Health Professional in Divorce
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.
As Marriage Equality Disputes Arise, so Does Opportunity for ADR
Recently the United States Supreme Court issued long anticipated rulings in the first marriage cases to reach the high court – United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. Taken together, the decisions represent a significant step in the central civil rights issue of this era – the rights and responsibilities of same-sex couples to marry.
10 Tips for Breakup Success
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
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
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.
Why is it Beneficial to Collaborate?
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.
3 Fallacies over Lunch
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.
Power of Anger Ineffective against Powerful Negotiators
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.
Infidelity and Family Mediation
Spouses fear infidelity, and for good reason. They see other marriages dissolve as a result of it. Infidelity seems to always have the effect of a fire – uncontrollable and unpredictable. It often destroys a marriage. But does it have to?
The Boogeyman of California Family Law
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.
How Children Cope with High Conflict Divorce: How are they harmed and what can parents do to help them?
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.
I Didn't Leave the Children
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.
The Family Business in Divorce: Issues for Mediators
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.
5 Tips for Co-Parenting After Divorce
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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.