While alternative dispute resolution has become widely accepted in recent years, several types of legal disagreements continue to be regarded as unsuitable for mediation. Child custody disputes between "high conflict" couples are one such category. Unfortunately, the process of litigating custody disputes between high conflict couples can be more damaging to children than the parents' actual divorce. Instead of dismissing mediation out of hand because of the difficulties in helping these parents see eye-to-eye, scholars might be wise to reevaluate the potential for mediating these disputes. This article will attempt to advance this idea in several ways. To begin, it will define the characteristics of the high conflict couple and explore the challenges they pose within dispute resolution processes. Next, it will briefly review the history of custody mediation before describing specific benefits that high conflict litigants and their children can achieve through mediation. Finally, the article will suggest a six point model for effectively mediating between high conflict couples.
Jessica J. Sauer,
Mediating Child Custody Disputes for High Conflict Couples: Structuring Mediation to Accommodate the Needs & Desires of Litigious Parents ,
7 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/drlj/vol7/iss3/5