You are here: Home » Marital Mediation Training Workshop September 2014

Marital Mediation Training Workshop September 2014

Marital Mediation: How to Use Mediation to Help Couples Stay Married
Laurie Israel, Lawyer/Mediator
Israel, Van Kooy and Days, LLC., Brookline, MA
September 19-20, 2014
United Parish in Brookline, Brookline, Massachusetts

Click here to sign up,  or contact us at at telephone (617) 277-3774 for more information.

Training Schedule:  
Day One – Friday, September 19, 2014

8:30 Each trainee introduces herself or himself.

9:00   What is Marital Mediation?

What question does each trainee have about marital mediation?
Has anyone practiced marital mediation?
Has anyone thought about practicing marital mediation?
Has anyone had a divorce mediation (or collaborative divorce) that turned into a reconciliation?
Generate reasons pro (and con) allowing a mediator to mediate marriages.
Discuss role play materials – how to generate.

9:40 Examination of literature and websites helpful to marital mediators:

Giving reading assignments to marital mediation clients.
The Relationship Handbook, George Pransky.
Taking the War Out of Our Words, Sharon Strand Ellison.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, Marshall B. Rosenberg.

Quick look online at the web resources and references specifically referencing marital mediation.

10:10 Marital mediation –the importance of having a neutral to moderate or mediate the discussion.

Zen mind, beginner’s mind. What does this have to do with it?
Hand-out “What They Are Really Saying”
Discussion of Transformative, evaluative, and facilitative mediation –
Where does Marital Mediation fit in.

Mediating in the shadow of the law.
Is the law important in mediation?
Is the law important in marital mediation?
Informing clients about what happens if they divorce.
Mediator’s role: providing legal information (permitted) vs. legal advice (not permitted)

10:40 First Marital Mediation Session and Role Play.

A. How to start the first marital mediation session.
Think about and provide techniques for the first session.
The importance of starting slowly.
Techniques for clients between sessions.

B. ROLE PLAY: Third mediation session (i.e., this is the third time the parties have met with the mediator – not the first or second time.
1. A couple with financial issues.
2. A couple with an annoying pattern —  stuff in attic, packing for a trip.

Meet back to discuss what came up in the role play session.

11:30 How to obtain clarity in communications.

The problems in spousal communication, even for people in long-term marriages.
Opportunities for truthfulness
Techniques developed from Sharon Strand Ellison – Taking the War Out of Our Words.
A Role Play from Sharon Strand Ellison’s book.

12:15 to 1:15 Lunch

1:15 Marital Mediation Power Point (aimed at new practitioners)
Marital Mediation Power Point (aimed at groups and potential clients)
Generation of marital issues in a group presentation setting as a technique for discussion.

1:45 The Post-Marital (Postnuptial) Agreement: Part I.

What is it? Is it enforceable? Does it matter? Dangers for the mediator.
What if clients move to another state?
Differences between premarital and postnuptial agreement.
Treatment by different states – look it up in your state.

Discussion of Ansin v. Craven-Ansin (Mass. SJC)

Benefits of having and not having a postnuptial agreement.
Review by outside attorneys.
Dangers of unfairness.
Is binding arbitration “binding”?

2:30 ROLE PLAY: Third mediation session:

A risk-taking entrepreneur; a house renovation; problems with in-laws: one feels the other is not doing enough, other issues you see in your own practice.

Meet back to discuss what came up in the role play sessions.

3:30 The Elephant in the Room: How and when do you bring up difficult subjects?

Mediator as truthteller: opportunities and dangers.
What are some techniques for transformation?
What is a Spousal Waiver or a Spousal Amnesty (airplane bag scenario).

4:15 ROLE PLAY: Third mediation session – difficult subject (infidelity, credit card debt, secret investment)

Meet back to discuss what came up in the role play sessions.

4:45 Your “elevator” talk on Marital Mediation.


Day Two — Saturday, September 20, 2014

8:30 Questions from yesterday’s session.

Examples of marital counseling v. marital mediation.
How to respond to questions from psychotherapists and others.
How not to practice psychotherapy without a license.
Practicing the “elevator talk” when you are asked that second question: “What is the difference between marital mediation and marital counseling?”

9:00 What are caucuses?
Should marital mediation include caucuses, and if so when?
How to deal with infidelity, actual or emotional.
Gender and sexual orientation issues.

9:30 “Hot Speech” and how to control it in a mediation session.
ROLE PLAY: “Hot Speech” and techniques for the mediation to curb it.

Research in Screening factors predicting marital failure or success and why they might be important for the clients to know about.

10:10 Helping marriages with estate planning and real estate.
Helping marriages with asset protection.
When to refer to (or call in) a specialist.
What is a neutral specialist?

10:30 Break

10:45 What happens when one spouse wants marital mediation and the other spouse wants a divorce.

Going from divorce mediation into marital mediation. Circumstances. Does it work?
Going from marital mediation to divorce mediation. Can you do this? Ethical issues?

11:00 ROLE PLAYS: (third mediation session)
A. Second marriage – she feels he prefers the children of his first marriage financially.
B. Couple talked about a prenup, but didn’t create one before marriage. Now they are discussing a postnup – whether or not to have one, and what should be in it.
C. He is about to receive a big inheritance from his parents, and the marriage is rocky.

Meet back to discuss what came up in the role play sessions.

12:15 to 1:15 Lunch

1:15 The Post-Marital (Postnuptial) Agreement: Part II.

How to begin – the Term Sheet
Mediator filling in term choices/options/guesses.
The importance of the Statement of Facts provision.

Drafting the agreement:  leaving blanks, options guesses for further discussion.

Examination of clauses in sample actual agreements.
Can you have an alimony waiver?
Can you have a fixed child support or child custody provision?
Drafting a sample clause to address a problem the couple wants to solve in the Agreement.
Enforceability v. non-enforceability.
Dangers for the mediator.

2:00 ROLE PLAYS (third mediation session)

Couples with A. Difficult employment/relocation decision.
B. Couple with spouse who wants to retire.
C. Couple with differing parenting styles/values.

Meet back to discuss what came up in the role play sessions.

3:00 Break

3:15 Power Point – “Driving your Spouse Crazy”.
How to write about marital mediation without violating privacy of clients.

3:45 Practicalities:
How long and how often do you meet? What to charge clients. How to manage fees, payments, retainers.

How to develop and market your marital mediation practice.Developing your website.

Google Analytics
Google Alerts
Giving presentations to groups of non-mediators (e.g. Rotary, other business groups).
Creating and posting PowerPoints.
Writing articles. Where to publish.
Having mediation organizations include marital mediation as an area of practice.
Giving presentations to mediation organizations.

4:30 Provide written comments and evaluation to trainer.

To sign up and for more information,  or contact uinfos at, telephone (617) 277-3774.