Domestic/Intimate Partner Dispute Mediation and ODR
As mediation gained in popularity it made sense that it would expand to the family law arena. It made so much sense that many states made mediation mandatory for parents wanting a divorce and a court ordered parenting plan laying out how parents would parent their children in the future. The 1980’s was a time of growing concern for the needs of victims of domestic violence and growing awareness of the potential for the mediation process to produce false agreements when domestic abuse was a factor. When domestic abuse dynamics were invisibly operating under the surface, bad agreements were often created. Mediators who were not aware, educated and sensitive to the power and control dynamics of domestic abuse contributed to the creation of these fake agreements in the early court mandated mediation session when both parents were required to be present in the same room at the same time. As a result of new insights in the 1980’s and early 1990’s into domestic abuse dynamics many states prohibited mediation where domestic violence issues were present. Screening for domestic violence began and victims were banned from mediation. This discussion will be about victims of domestic abuse having a mediation option in crafting a parenting plan and how ODR can play an important role looking at the specialized alternative dispute resolution process set out in the 2007 amended Nebraska Parenting Act as an example.
Director, Facilitation and Training
THE MEDIATION CENTER
610 J Street, Suite 100
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
402-441-5740 (office) * 402-441-5746 (direct) * 402-441-5749 (fax)
David is the Director of Facilitation and Training at The Mediation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Mediation Center was approved in 1992 as one of Nebraska’s six independent regional mediation centers authorized by the Nebraska Dispute Resolution Act of 1991. The centers operate under statutory guidelines regarding competency and public accountability, as well as policies and procedures approved by the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution, an office under the auspices of the Nebraska Supreme Court. The Mediation Center provides a variety of services including consulting, facilitation, mediation, negotiation coaching and training.
David affiliated with The Mediation Center in 2003 with experience as an attorney, business executive, educator, facilitator and mediator in private practice and approved as a federal mediator by the United States District Court. In 2004 David was designated a Master Mediator by the Nebraska Justice Center. David teaches mediation, facilitation, family group conferencing, restorative justice, victim offender dialogue and specialized alternative dispute resolution, and a variety of workshops for entities such as the Nebraska Supreme Court’s Office of Dispute Resolution, Nebraska Mediation Association, University of Nebraska College of Law, and The Werner Institute at Creighton University School of Law. Additionally, David serves on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Mediation Association and as Chairman of the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the Nebraska State Bar Association.
Thank you David for a wonderful discussion. It is obviously an issue that many across the states need to consider. Hopefully, collaboration can take place to ensure these types of mediations can take place in the safest and most effective manner. For those that missed the conversation, or those that want to revisit it, the archive is available for streaming at the top of this page and the conversation can continue via this forum. Take care, Bryan
Unfortunately, I missed attending your interesting webinar in person, David, but thanks to ADRhub's archives was able to view it later. One of the questions you posed was, what educational documents might be helpful to share online. Our Distance Family Mediation Project - a Law Foundation funded initiative taking place since 2007 in British Columbia, Canada - has been finding that there seems to be almost no limit to these documents. Virtually anything that parties may need for information can be shared in some type of online forum. As Project Coordinator, what I am finding is that the a key challenge is figuring out the best 'how' - the best medium - to use for conveying specific types of information. We have recently established a blog for our technology-assisted family mediation service and use it as one way to get information 'out there'. Our blog posting of today - "How does mediation lead to a legally enforceable agreement?" - is an example of this: http://distancemediation.ca/.