ERIC Number: ED279923
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Attorney and Parent Attitudes Related to Successful Mediation Counseling of Child Custody Disputes.
Swenson, Leland C.; Heinish, D.
The divorce explosion has placed a substantial burden on the judicial system of the United States. About 10 percent of divorce cases involve child custody battles. The adversarial legal process may be contrary to the children's best interest. Custody mediation has been used as an alternative to court litigation. California law requires an attempt to reach a settlement by mediation. This study surveyed participants in a mandatory California mediation court. Eleven complete sets of data from all session participants: clients (husband and wife), both attorneys, and mediator, were received. Client surveys focused on attitudes toward the mediation process and perception of attorney's attitudes. Attorneys were asked about their attitudes towards their clients and the mediation process. Mediators rated the effectiveness of the session, the cooperativeness of the clients, and if settlement was reached. Clients with positive attitudes, well informed and represented by attorneys with positive attitudes and high levels of experience with mediation court, were more likely to settle. This supports the importance of attorney's attitudes in facilitating the mediation process. Attorneys saw themselves as more helpful than the clients or mediators. Clients reported relatively high satisfaction with mediation, suggesting considerable satisfaction with the California process. Settlement rates were not finalized since further mediation sessions were expected. However, overall settlement rates were not expected to be significantly inferior to voluntary mediation participants. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California