Mediating when domestic violence is a factor: Policies and practices in court-based divorce mediation programs

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Abstract

Domestic violence is estimated to be a factor in at least one-half the cases served at court-based divorce mediation programs, with only about 5 percent excluded because of concerns about safety or power imbalance. This article looks at how mediators and program administrators say they have responded to the criticisms of advocates for victims of domestic violence by developing ways to gauge the capacity to mediate and to modify the mediation process in order to enhance safety. It draws on responses to a national survey of program practices and in-depth examination of court-based divorce mediation programs in five settings.

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