Document Type



Mediating an international parental kidnapping case involves much more than knowing some family law-it involves complex emotions, strict time constraints, multiple nations' laws and policies, intricate international treaties, juggling interpreters, attorneys, government officials, judges, and parents who may be physically located thousands of miles apart, and the blunt reality that you may have no understanding of either parent's cultural customs or the way each will communicate with the other parent or with you. While the "culture" part of the mediation may appear to be the least significant element, it could be key to the success of the mediation. Nonetheless, "culture" has only recently begun to be incorporated into mediator trainings, and is very much a mere "afterthought" in the process. This paper will discuss "culture" by examining basic elements of communication, views of families and children, its effects on the mediation itself, and what should be incorporated into a training program for mediators.