Live Webinar: Domestic/Intimate Partner Dispute Mediation and ODR - Thursday, October 27 @ 7pm EST/4pm PST/11pm GMT

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.


Presented by:

David A. Hubbard, J.D.

Director, Facilitation and Training


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. 


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The benefits of ODR for domestic relations cases has potential.  There needs to be a universal agreement between the Court system and the mediation centers.

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

I agree with David that by taking away this option you are not necessarily leaving the couple with a better option to go to litigation.  Yes there must be some way of holding the mediation that will benefit all parties especially the abused.  What do people think would be the best option to handle this situation when you are having mediation in a domestic abuse case?  Will private caucuses really be the only viable option?  Especially with advancements in technology I agree there is huge potential for ODR and its development.  I as well also wonder how do you protect the confidentiality of people who use this is as their only option?  Will making it video conferencing mandatory significantly make it better?  What do people think about only sending emails or texts?  Will the lack of face to face conversation significantly remove a major aspect of the mediation process?  Some of the recommendations mentioned in the video are good ideas but do you think that people would actually take those some what cumbersome ways of doing this, over actually just meeting in person?  Thank you for taking the time for this David.
I am truly saddened that I missed this webinar. I find divorce mediation interesting and more so, I would like to get a better understanding of how ODR can help. I would imagine that in emotionally charged cases ODR can actually bring tremendous relief to the parties involved. Imagine not having to come face to face with an abuser yet still managing to get the details of a situation ironed out. This is a great field of work and I am interested to see how it expands.

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:


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