Mediation and Conflict Management Services

Oakland/Berkeley Tel 503.407.6077 Email

Training > Course Descriptions & Outlines > Family & Divorce..
Family & Divorce Mediation
Negotiation/Mediation of Disputes Basic/Intermediate Training


Family and Divorce Disputes

Mediators in this context aid parties in making decisions surrounding issues directly related to restructuring their family, including parenting responsibilities (time arrangements and decisions); property division and financial responsibilities (child support alimony/maintenance, life insurance, health care insurance and costs, and future education for their children). While some courts provide mediators to aid with some parts of this decision making, few court mediators mediate all issues. Divorce is not just a legal event, it is a major life event affecting the futures not only of the parents but the children as well.

Mediation is being used with increasing frequency to resolve not just divorce matters, but also post-divorce matters, parent-child disputes, premarital agreements, marital conflicts and financial planning differences, and planning for elderly parent-care, estate planning, and family business planning.

This course is typically five days (40 hours) but may be shorter or longer depending on state or jurisdictional requirements.

Course Objectives

In addition to the basic objectives of mediation training, the course will also focus on issues directly related to family and divorce, such as:
  • family systems theory and applications
  • family dynamics and communication
  • child development theory and applications
  • family violence and power balance
  • gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, and other differences in negotiation
  • family financial issues
Course Outline

Day One:
  • Overview and Introduction to Conflict Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration and Adjudication
  • Assessment of Parties-Who Can Mediate?
  • The Role of the Mediator as "Neutral"
  • The Consultation/Orientation Session Gaining Commitment to the Process
  • Demonstration of Mediation
Day Two:
  • System and Communication Theory and Practice
  • Skills, Strategies and Techniques in Mediation: Identifying and Framing Issues
  • Structuring the Process and Setting Agendas
  • Conflict Analysis and Management Issues
  • Gender Issues in Negotiation and Mediation
  • Mediation Demonstration
  • Participant Mediation Simulations
Day Three:
  • Negotiation and Settlement Strategies: Analyzing the Dispute
  • "Power" Balance (Is Mediation Unfair to Women?)
  • Controlling for Mediator Bias
  • Preparing Effective Memorandum of Under-standing: Legal and Working Agreements
  • Styles of Mediation Practice: Different Models of Practice
  • Participant Mediation Simulations
Day Four:
  • The Differences/Similarities Between Business and Family Mediation
  • Parenting Responsibility and "Custody" Issues
  • The Family System and Dynamics
  • Should the Mediator "Represent" the Child?
  • Family Violence, Substance Abuse Issues in Mediation
  • Participant Mediation Simulations
Day Five:
  • Financial Responsibility Issues: Assessing the Exchange Environment
  • Property Distribution: The Valuation Process and Division of Assets
  • Tax Issues and the Use of Experts in Mediation
  • Ethical Issues in Mediation: Confidentiality, Unauthorized Practice of Law or Counseling
  • Marketing Mediation-Setting Up a Private Practice
  • Policy Issues in Court-Connected Mediation Practice: Is Mediation "Second-Class" Justice?
  • Participant Mediation Simulations
Certificates, CEU And CLE Credit

Certificates of completion will be presented after the completion of the course. This course has been approved for Continuing Education Units and Continuing Legal Education credit in most areas, including Missouri, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee among others. The faculty will provide the necessary documentation or verification to aid participants in securing the credit desired. This course has also been approved by the Academy of Family Mediators for the forty-hour training requirement necessary for membership and by the court rules or statutes of those states requiring training.

Fees and Arrangements

The cost of the course is $1075 per person, which includes Business, Family and Divorce Mediation: Forms and Practice Handbook. Participants will be encouraged to purchase other specific selected texts. Costs and expenses may be tax deductible according to current IRS regulations.

Generally, sessions will begin sharply at 8:30 a.m. and finish at 6:00 p.m. each day. Full attendance is required for the Certificate of Completion.

Specific details for a particular Training Program will be sent to you at the time of registration To insure a quality learning experience, the number of participants will be limited.

There will be a complete refund of fees if for any reason the course is canceled. A $50 administrative fee will be charged for participant cancellations within three weeks of a scheduled program.

Tuition discounts can be arranged for students and others depending on financial circumstances.

Generally, approximately ten or more participants are necessary for a training course to be of optimal values.