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Mediating Divorce: A Step-by-Step Manual

ISBN: 978-0-7879-5849-7
224 pages
April 2002, Jossey-Bass
Mediating Divorce: A Step-by-Step Manual (0787958492) cover image
Mediating Divorce: A Step-by-Step Manual is written for family law attorneys and therapists who need a comprehensive resource for facilitating the divorce mediation process. Written by Marilyn S. McKnight and Stephen K. Erickson, two widely known pioneers in the field of divorce mediation, this useful guide will show how to implement the techniques needed to be an effective divorce mediator. It includes helpful information for understanding and working through the emotions experienced by people going through a divorce.
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1 Introduction 1

PART I: ELEMENTS OF DIVORCE MEDIATION 5

2. What is Client-Centered Mediation? 7

Approaches to Resolving Conflict 7

Competition versus Cooperation 10

3. Your Role As a Mediator 15

Qualifications 15

Responsibilities 15

References 23

4. Emotions Involved in Divorce 25

The Emotional Divorce Process 25

The Relationship Circle 27

Reference 30

PART II: THE MEDIATION PROCESS 31

5. Initial Consultation 35

Administering the Intake Form 36

Screening for Abuse 36

Forming a Relationship 40

Providing Information 42

Closing the Initial Consultation 47

Assigning Homework for Next Session 47

6. Subject Area 1: Establishing a Parenting Plan 49

Child Development and the Effects of Divorce 49

Effects of Spousal Abuse on Children 55

The "Custody" Contest Is Always About Something Else 56

How to Create a Parenting Plan 58

The Process of Establishing a Parenting Plan 63

Assigning Homework for Next Session 69

After the Session 70

Parenting Arrangements 70

Reference 74

7. Subject Area 2: Budgeting for the Future 75

Why the Budgeting Process is Necessary 75

The Process of Budgeting for the Future 76

Assigning Homework for Next Session 84

After the Session 84

Expenses 85

8. Subject Area 3: Dividing Property 89

Listing Property and Its Value 89

Identifying Nonmarital Property 104

Defining Standards of Fairness 104

Final Division and Distribution 104

Summary of Property Division 105

After the Session 106

9. Subject Area 4: Addressing Tax and Legal Issues and Review Agreements 107

Addressing Tax Issues 107

Address Legal Issues 109

Reviewing Agreements 109

Assigning Homework for Next Session 109

After the Session 110

Memorandum of Agreement 114

10. Subject Area 5: Finalizing the Memorandum of Agreement 141

11. Mediator Strategies143

Basic Mediator Strategies 143

Strategies for Mediating Special Situations 160

Strategies for Avoiding Impasse163

Reference 175

PART III: APPENDIXES 177

A. Forms 179

B. Recommended Readings 201

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Marilyn S. McKnight, M.A. and Stephen K. Erickson, J.D. are founders, directors, and mediators with the Erickson Mediation Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. McKnight, a social worker, and Erickson, an attorney, have each served terms as president of the board of the Academy of Family Mediators. They have written numerous articles and books in the field including Practitioner's Guide to Mediation (Wiley, 2001).
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