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Steve Erickson In The News

Jul 1, 2015   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Steve Erickson In The News

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Note: This article was picked up by over 200 national media outlets!

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Blended (Step) Family Plan Training

May 20, 2015   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Blended (Step) Family Plan Training

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Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead

May 16, 2015   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead

Fighting The Wrong Enemy In Divorce By Steve Erickson

(Steve was recently invited to write an article for mediate.com’s 25th anniversary. The project’s purpose is: “Building upon the foundation established over recent decades, The Mediation Futures Project will gather and report upon our best thinking about the future of the mediation field and mediation practice.”< /p>

Where We Have Been, Where We Are, and the Road That Lies Ahead

Looking back as one of the early professional family Mediators, I believe we are a movement developed out of reaction to the excesses and misadventures of the way divorce was practiced in the early 1970s. Most of the early pioneers I worked with turned to divorce mediation out of frustration with the negative results of adversarial litigated divorce. As a young attorney, my frustration started with my client, Lorraine Brown, who was killed in 1976 by her husband shortly after I appeared in court with her on a temporary motion. The frustration continued to grow later that year during an 18-day custody trial I litigated that was little more than a series of nasty allegations made by each side. Jim Coogler, remembered by many as the founder of divorce mediation, was motivated by his own divorce experience. Like many others before, and since, he experienced a process that he believed unnecessarily caused the loss of his business and the alienation of his family caught in the throes of the adversarial system. At the time, we had no idea if mediation would work, especially with high conflict couples, but our beginning efforts were generated by a growing realization that there must be a better way for divorcing families to get through this most difficult time of their lives.

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Professional Divorce Mediation and The Future

May 13, 2015   //   by Erickson Mediation   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Professional Divorce Mediation and The Future

MARILYN MCKNIGHT, MA ERICKSON MEDIATION INSTITUTE By Marilyn McKnight

(Marilyn was recently invited to write an article for mediate.com’s 25th anniversary. The project’s purpose is: “Building upon the foundation established over recent decades, The Mediation Futures Project will gather and report upon our best thinking about the future of the mediation field and mediation practice.”)

Professional Divorce Mediation and The Future

In 1976, I was a Social Worker in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Child Protection Services (CPS), assigned to the “Child Neglect Unit” in the northwest suburbs of the county. Many of the families were referred to CPS by school social workers, based upon concerns registered by teachers that a child or children in a family were being neglected. They almost invariably described changed behaviors in children who were previously pretty average, non-problematic students, but who had recently become sullen, distracted, withdrawn, or angry and were acting out. After some investigation, I found the clear common denominator in more than a few of these matters was a divorce being contemplated or in progress. Mom was often ashamed, depressed, and worried about money; she had little energy left to deal with the children. The few fathers I was able to meet with were frustrated, often angry, and sad. They had all but given up on “visiting” their own children in accordance with the court order, “every other weekend and Wednesday evenings.” It became patently clear that the divorce was hard enough, but was being made unnecessarily far more difficult and painful for all concerned than it needed to be.

At that same time, my husband, Steve Erickson, was a young lawyer, in a small firm in Minneapolis with colleagues from law school doing a lot of divorces. He was frustrated because whatever he did for his clients, they were never satisfied. Sharing stories at our dinner table, we both realized the devastating impact divorce was having on families.

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Cooperative Private Divorce

Apr 22, 2015   //   by Marilyn McKnight   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Cooperative Private Divorce

MARILYN MCKNIGHT, MA ERICKSON MEDIATION INSTITUTE By Marilyn McKnight

Cooperative Private Divorce

In the fall of 2012 I invited about 50 divorce professionals to a meeting where the initial goal was to design a divorce process in Minnesota outside the court that would encourage cooperation between couples negotiating their divorce, keeping divorce settlements private, not available to the public as they presently are. We met bi-weekly for many months, had a one-day workshop with 80+ in attendance for feedback from the professional divorce community in the spring of 2013, and finally drafted a bill that was introduced in the MN House last month.

Yesterday was the first “informational hearing” in the MN House where the bill was well received and appreciated by most who attended. For more information, please check out the website: http://www.cooperativeprivatedivorce.org.

I welcome your questions and feedback: marilyn@ericksonmediation.com.

Thanks!

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(The judge) said she would push our divorce through quickly for us because she knew we had worked well together with Marilyn ... Read more

After my week of immersion in the theory and practice of divorce mediation, I feel like a ‘convert’... Read more

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Erickson Mediation Institute MN
Erickson Mediation Institute
3600 American Blvd West
Suite 105
Minneapolis, MN 55431
(952) 835-3688

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