As divorce rates rise, family mediation represents an alternative way of making settlements without involving an already overburdened judicial system. This book presents a discussion of the current North American trends in the burgeoning field of family mediation by featuring both a review of the literature and a model for family mediation practice. The practice model presented here, Therapeutic Family Mediation, stresses an ecological perspective, and considers the feminist critique of the mediation process. The authors also address mediation's role in the important issues of joint custody, ethnicity, and child protection. Future directions in family mediation are examined in the final part.

Shared Parenting: Critical Review of the Research Literature

Shared Parenting: Critical Review of the Research Literature

Shared parenting: Critical review of the research literature


In recent years traditional practices of child custody have been called in question. Over the past half century in North America, in the majority of divorce cases involving minor children, maternal sole custody (SC) has been awarded (Nett, 1993; Teachman & Polonko, 1990). Of the remainder, an increasing proportion has involved a joint custody or shared parenting (SP) award, in which care and control of the child(ren) are shared equally between both parents (Folberg & Graham, 1981).

As of 1984, more than 30 American states had legislation that recognized, presumed, or mandated SP (Folberg, 1984a, 1984b). Since then, additional states have enacted such legislation (Coller, 1988; Robinson, 1985). Consequently, by 1991, ...

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