Devaluing (Abusive) Behaviors…

Using Institutions = Threats of punishment from God, courts, police, school, juvenile detention, foster homes, relatives, psych wards.

Isolation = Control access to other parent, siblings, grandparents, friends, etc.

Devaluing (Abusive) Behaviors

Emotional Abuse = Use put downs, name calling & shaming.  Use children as confidants or messengers between parents.  Be inconsistent.

Economic Abuse = Withhold basic needs.  Use money to control behavior.  Misuse family money.  Non-payment of child support.  Use children as economic pawns in divorce.

Threats = Threats of abandonment, suicide, physical harm, confinement, or harm to other loved ones.

Using Adult Privilege = Treat children as possessions or servants.  Punitive, “win at all cost” thinking, deny children input, and disrespectful behaviors (i.e. interrupting).

Intimidation = Instill fear through looks, actions, gestures, property destruction.  Yelling & physical violence toward people and/or pets.

Physical Violence = Pinching, hitting, kicking, pushing, twisting arms, choking, etc.  Sexual touching or kissing, seeing children’s behavior as sexual, and incest.

Source:    Adapted from Domestic Abuse Intervention Project –Duluth


The safety of clients, ourselves, and colleagues is our top priority while we remain available to assist you as you navigate the new and uncharted territory caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Still Working — Offering All Services Virtually

While providing virtual ADR services was not part of our plan, we have made the necessary accommodations to ensure we can continue to serve our clients during these unsettling times. We are now working remotely and ensure the ongoing availability of mediation, PC, PTE and other ADR services.

Our office hours remain the same and we remain available by phone and email. The main office number is 952.252.1492.

We are using Zoom for videoconferencing. We suggest that you download this app to your phone or the program to your computer at


New Clients Welcome

We continue to offer free 1-hour divorce consultations via Zoom. Potential PC and PTE clients are invited to schedule a free 15-minute phone call. Please call 952.252.1492 to set up an appointment. We are here to help!

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all adapt to these rapidly changing and chaotic times. Stay strong, remain resilient and stay healthy!


Amber Serwat & Gayle Ladwig
ADR Professional & ADR Assistant

Divorce Mediation & Dispute Resolution Services - Amber Serwat Mediation

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