Intimate partner violence (IPV) and family dispute resolution: A randomized controlled trial comparing shuttle mediation, videoconferencing mediation, and litigation.

Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, Connie J. Beck, Amy G. Applegate, Jeannie M. Adams, Fernanda S. Rossi, Lily J. Jiang, Claire S. Tomlinson, Darrell F. Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This randomized controlled trial, involving parents seeking to resolve their separation- or divorce-related disputes and reporting high levels of intimate partner violence (IPV), compared return-to-court (traditional litigation, n = 67 cases) to 2 mediation approaches designed to protect parent safety (i.e., shuttle, n = 64 cases; videoconferencing, n = 65 cases) at a court-annexed mediation division. We present immediate outcomes, which showed some favorable results for mediation. Both mediation approaches were perceived as safe by mediators, and parents felt safer in mediation than in traditional litigation. Parents in mediation were also more satisfied with the process than parents in traditional litigation. Return-to-court cases took 3 times as long to reach final resolution as mediation cases. Mediators tended to prefer shuttle over videoconferencing, and videoconferencing cases were half as likely to reach agreement as cases in shuttle. Through coding the content of the document that resolved case issues, we found no statistically significant group differences in legal custody, physical custody, or parenting time arrangements, and few differences in the likelihood of the document specifying a variety of arrangements (e.g., how to handle missed parenting time) or including safety provisions (e.g., supervised child exchanges). We conclude that in cases with parents reporting concerning levels of IPV, when both parents are independently willing to mediate, mediation designed with strong safety protocols and carried out in a protected environment by well-trained staff may be an appropriate alternative to court. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-64
Number of pages20
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • divorce and parental separation
  • domestic violence
  • family dispute resolution
  • family mediation
  • intimate partner violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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