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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


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


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


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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