For Professionals

Third Party Screening

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It is consistent with best practices that lawyers, mediators, and arbitrators screen clients prior to beginning an ADR or court process. As the Ministry of the Attorney General states (see below), this screening must be done by a professional who is "trained to recognize and understand symptoms of domestic violence and significant imbalances of decision-making power between spouses."

 

Dr. Glaholt is available to consult with lawyers, mediators,

and arbitrators, to act as a Third-Party Screener.

(Please note: both clients must be screened, separately.)

Therapy Session

Dr. Glaholt interned at the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network and completed the Domestic Violence 40-Hour Training as required by the State of Illinois. She is an experienced lecturer on "the Link" between child abuse, domestic violence, animal abuse, and elder abuse, via her non-profit Link Coalition Toronto. Dr. Glaholt has extensive training and experience screening for power imbalances as a roster mediator and private mediator in Toronto. 

Four Types of Family Violence

The proposed Bill C-78 highlights family violence as a significant factor that ought to be discussed and weighed when determining parenting arrangements. "As knowledge about the scope of family violence has expanded, so has the understanding that not all violence is the same. Experts have identified at least four types of intimate partner violence:

  1. coercive and controlling violence: violence that forms “a pattern of emotionally abusive intimidation, coercion, and control coupled with physical violence against partners.”

  2. violent resistance: violence in response to coercive and controlling violence. The violence is generally a response to an assault and the objective is to protect oneself or another person.

  3. situational (or common) couple violence: violence that is not associated with a general desire to control one’s partner, but to a particular incident or situation. It is generally a result of an inability to manage conflict or anger.

  4. separation-instigated violence: violence that generally occurs around the time of separation with a small number of incidents. It can range from minor to quite severe.

These distinctions are particularly important in the context of parenting determinations because, depending on the type of violence, different parenting arrangements may be in the best interests of the child.

While all violence is of concern, the most serious type of violence in the family law context is coercive and controlling violence. This is because it is part of an ongoing pattern, involves more danger, and is more likely to be associated with compromised parenting."

The Arbitration Act (1991)

Regarding family arbitration, the Ministry of the Attorney General states that screening for power imbalance is mandatory prior to beginning the arbitration:

"Both people involved in a family arbitration must be interviewed separately by someone trained to recognize and understand symptoms of domestic violence and significant imbalances of decision-making power between spouses. Domestic violence may be psychological as well as physical.

Both people must be screened for domestic violence and power imbalances, even if each person will be represented by a lawyer in the process. The screener determines whether there is anything standing in the way of a person's full participation in family arbitration or whether the arbitrator should impose certain safeguards (such as that the parties should not be alone together) before the arbitration can proceed.

There is no prescribed screening method to be used for family arbitration, although a number of methods currently exist for family mediation that can usually be adapted for family arbitration. The regulation under the Arbitration Act, 1991 requires that each party be screened separately, and that a report from the person who does the screening must be submitted to the arbitrator before the arbitration can begin. The arbitrator does not use this information to decide the issues in the dispute."

To discuss Third-Party Screening, contact contact Dr. Glaholt. 

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