Divorce Mediation and Domestic Violence: Court Mandated Dispute Resolution Processes in Cases Involving Spousal Abuse Allegations

Jennifer Wolynetz, Oklahoma State University

Mediation has become a standard practice in divorce, visitation, and child custody cases. A process involving couples sharing power in decision making (often revolving around child custody), mediation has been a successful alternative to court for many divorcing couples. However, serious problems remain. Research indicates that 50 to 80 percent of all divorce cases referred to mediation involve domestic violence. This study examines the use of existing data collected on divorce mediation and domestic violence, focusing on policies and procedures to identifying cases involving domestic violence among divorcing couples and mediation practices in cases involving allegations of spousal abuse. A survey was conducted in collaboration with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). A questionnaire was mailed to 200 institutional members of the AFCC. A total of 149 were completed.

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Updated 05/20/2006