Find Mediators Near You:

How To Resolve Parenting Disputes

From Arnold W. Zeman’s blog

We recently featured a video clip of an interview with Justice Harvey Brownstone of the North Toronto Family Court in which he brought to life the principle of acting in the best interests of the child.  Here now are his 10 tips for success in resolving parenting disputes from his book, Tug of War: A Judge’s Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles and the Bitter Realities of Family Court:

  1. Be child-focused
  2. Learn to distinguish between a bad partner and a bad parent
  3. Never speak negatively to the child about the other parent
  4. Never argue or fight in front of children
  5. Listen to the other parent’s point of view even if you don’t agree with it
  6. Consider mediation before giving the decision-making power to a judge (emphasis added)
  7. Separate your financial issues from your parenting issues
  8. Be flexible and reasonable in making access arrangements
  9. Your children still see you as a family, so communicate!
  10. Don’t hesitate to get help (emphasis added)

This list of advice is taken from Chapter 13 of Justice Brownstone’s book.  You can read Justice Brownstone’s commentary on each of these tips by clicking here for a book excerpt.


Arnold W. Zeman

After over 33 years in the public service of Canada, the last 20 of which as an executive, I retired from government in 2006 to pursue my passion to help people resolve their differences non-adversarially. I have been trained by the best in the field in both the public and… MORE >

Featured Members

View all

Read these next


Leadership Development: Conflict Management for College Student Leaders

INTRODUCTION Conflict is a pervasive part of group and organizational culture (Fasnacht, 1990) which causes unmanaged conflict to be chaotic (Kormanski, 1982). However, the absence of conflict results in apathy....

By Judy Rashid

We Are The Future of Mediation

How will the future of mediation matter if a new generation of young mediators is not encouraged and carefully shepherded into our profession? Dialogue and healthy debate about our field’s...

By Michael Aurit

Most Effective Use of a Conflict Mode

Even if you choose to avoid for the right reasons, does it make a difference what you actually say to people just before you withdraw from the situation? One person...

By Ralph Kilmann