Town Hall Series: COVID-19 Won’t Stop Family Mediators

Part 4: Cutting Edge Ideas for Parenting Plans Affected by COVID-19



Jennifer Kresge: To Bill’s point…the clients need to be engaged = customers to the process.

Oran Kaufman: When you are including a third party, like new partner, do they sign an agreement. How is it enforceable when you are involving a third party?

Jennifer Kresge: Clients are gambling when they choose to go to court.  A Judge is human, like the rest of us. So true, judges have their own dilemmas and we cannot know how on any given day they will be influenced in decision-making by their own status.

Jennifer Kresge: Yes, Ken!  Sometimes, that is when we to use the ‘Columbo’ approach…

Oran Kaufman: What a great question, Bill!

Jennifer Kresge: Great question!  What would you notice that would let you know this works for your children?

Stephen Sulmeyer: Don, I have had exactly that case, and the kid’s role was central.

Nadia Shahram: I am a board member at Family Justice Center here in Erie County, and I can tell you that the number of DV cases have increased drastically.

Stephen Sulmeyer: Have you seen an uptick in inter-parental conflict as a result of quarantining together in the marital home?

Nadia Shahram: If they are living under the same roof, we as mediators must watch out for agreement signed under duress. I think one-sided agreements under DV threats will be set aside by courts.

Kathleen Shack: The state of GA now has a 2-tiered assessment regarding DV that is required before a mediation. If a mediator has not had DV training, then they have to stop the mediation and make sure it is referred to a trained mediator.

Stacey Langenbahn: Hilary, can you provide those protocols?

Clotilde Eaker: Would anyone feel offended if I leave my contact info?

Sallie Mullins Thompson: I don’t think this is the place for that.

Clotilde Eaker: OK

Chuck Hill: Yes, but the host mediator can prevent private chatting

Jennifer Kresge: Currently, due to COVID-19, the majority of my cases are about child support! Mostly, the recipient of the CS wants more. Complaining about needing to feed their children.

Robert Horwitz:  NOTE:  The APFM website has a great webinar presentation by Hilary (from 1/21/20): “What Family Dispute Resolution Professionals Need to Know About Screening for Family Violence:  Predicting Risk & Safety in Family Mediation.”

Jennifer Kresge:  Thank you.

APFM Mediators: As with the other Town Halls, we plan to post the chat on our Town Hall page, along with the recording.

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