Jelena Arsić

DOI Number
First page
Last page


The child custody disputes may have different backgrounds, such as: divorce, guardianship, adoption, child abuse and neglect, etc. Quite often, however, parents’ separation and divorce raise the issue of child custody. Families dealing with these stressful life events face a tough time of insecurity and confusion. Studies have shown that the degree of cooperation or conflict between parents is the factor that significantly contributes to how the children will react to their parents’ divorce or separation. Unfortunately, the adversarial process has not proven to be the best method to help parents to cooperate and support each other when the lives of their children are being discussed. In contrast to litigation, mediation has showed to be a process that diminishes negative consequences that often result from custody disputes. Mediation brings parents together, emphasizes their common interests, and helps them make decisions that will benefit the whole family. During the past few decades, international mediation practice has developed various mediation styles, nowadays used by mediators to manage different types of disputes. This paper will address one of the most discussed classifications of mediation styles with an effort to reach conclusions on the most appropriate approach to mediating child custody disputes.


child, parent, custody dispute, mediation, mediator style

Full Text:



Alfini, J. J., (1991), Trashing, Bashing, and Hashing It Out: Is This the End of “Good Mediation”?, Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 19., No. 1., 1991 (pp. 47-75).

Arsić, J., (2009). Transformativna teorija konflikta i medijacija, (Transformative Theory of Conflict and Mediation), in Džamonja-Ignjatović, T., Žegarac, N. (ed.), Theoretical Foundations of Mediation: Perspectives and Contributions. Belgrade, Center for Applied Psychology (pp. 165-182).

Baruch Bush, R. A., Folger, J., (1994). The Promise of Mediation: Responding to Conflict Through Empowerment and Recognition, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Baruch Bush, R. A., Folger, J., (2005). The Promise of Mediation: Responding to Conflict Through Empowerment and Recognition, Revised Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Baruch Bush, R. A., (2001). Handling Workplace Conflict: Why Transformative Mediation?, Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal, Vol. 18., No. 2., 2001 (pp. 367-373).

Clarke-Stewart, A.; Brentano, C., (2006). Divorce: Causes and Consequences, Yale University Press, New Haven.

Family Act, Official Gazette RS, No. 18 (2005), 72 (2011) and 6 (2015).

Franks, M. F., (1983). Winning Custody, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs.

Friedman, G. J., (1993). A Guide to Divorce Mediation, Workman Publishing, New York.

Goldzband, M. G., (1985). Quality Time: Easing the Children through Divorce, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Irvin, H. H., Benjamin, M., (1987), Family Mediation: Theory and Practice of Dispute Resolution, Carswell, Toronto.

Levin, M. S., (2001). The Propriety of Evaluative Mediation: Concerns About the Nature of an Evaluative Opinion, Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol. 16., No. 2., 2001 (pp. 267-296).

Riskin, L., (1996). Understanding Mediator’s Orientations, Strategies and Techniques: A Grid for the Perplexed, Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Vol. 1., No. 7., 1996 (pp. 7-51).

Saposnek, D. T., (1998). Mediating Child Custody Disputes, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Saposnek, D. T., (2001). How Language Shapes our Thinking: Towards A Parenting Plan, Retrieved 1 September, 2016, from http://mediate.com/articles/saposnek2.cfm.

Saposnek, D.T., (2003). Children’s Reactions to the News of Divorce: What They Need from You, Retrieved 1 September, 2016, from http://www.mediate.com/articles/saposnek3.cfm.

Saposnek, D. T., Rose C., The Psychology of Divorce (2004), Retrieved 1 September, 2016, from http://www.mediate.com/articles/saporo.cfm.

Schepard, A. I., (2004). Children, Courts and Custody: Interdisciplinary Models for Divorcing Families, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Wallerstein, J. S., Lewis, J. M., Blakeslee, S., (2000). The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study, Hyperion, New York.

Zumeta, Z. D., (2000). Styles of Mediation: Facilitative, Evaluative and Transformative Mediation, Retrieved 20 September 2016, from http://www.mediate.com/articles/zumeta.cfm

Zumeta, Z. D., (2000). A Facilitative Mediator Responds, Journal of Dispute Resolution, Vol. 2000, No. 2., 2000, pp. 335-341.

Porodični zakon (Family Act), Službeni glasnik RS, 18/2005, 72/2011 and 6/2015.

Zakon o posredovanju u rešavanju sporova (Mediation Act), Službeni glasnik RS, 55/2014

Republički zavod za statistiku Republike Srbije (Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Marriages and Divorces, 2015, Press Release, 30 June 2016, Retrieved 3 September, 2016, from http://webrzs.stat.gov.rs/WebSite/public/PageView.aspx?pKey=711&URL=http://pod2.stat.gov.rs/ElektronskaBiblioteka2/Pretraga_EB.aspx?pubType=2.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/FULP1604515A


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1450-5517 (Print)
ISSN 2406-1786 (Online)