graphic representation of being a mediator of two opposing sides

Using Non-Profits to Resolve Family Disputes

Non-profits have the tools and expertise to help resolve family disputes. 

• Common family conflicts include sibling rivalry, eldercare issues, financial disagreements, and custody battles. 

• Strategies such as mediation, arbitration, negotiation, and counseling can help families find solutions.

• Non-profits can connect affected parties with experts and resources to ensure successful outcomes. 

• It’s crucial for non-profits to be aware of any potential risks associated with intervening in a family dispute. 

Family disputes are a common occurrence in many communities—and they can have far-reaching consequences. Fortunately, non-profit organizations have the resources, skills, and expertise necessary to positively impact family conflicts. Here’s a closer look at how they can help families navigate difficult situations.

Common Family Disputes in Communities

Family disputes can take on many forms, from disagreements between siblings to financial matters. There are often complex underlying issues at play, including generational differences, communication breakdowns, and power imbalances. Here are some common examples:

Sibling Rivalry

This is a common issue, particularly when families have more than one child. It can involve competition over resources, opinion or preference differences, or just old disagreements.

Eldercare Disputes

As people age and their needs increase, families may find themselves unable to agree on the best course of action. This could involve issues such as caring for a grandparent, deciding where they will live, or who will pay for their medical bills.

Financial Disputes

Money is often the root of many family disputes. Examples include how to distribute assets in an inheritance, disagreements about taking out loans or investments, or even how to budget for household expenses.

Child Custody Conflicts

When a couple divorces, it’s often difficult for them to agree on terms about who will have custody of the children. This can lead to heated arguments and sometimes even hurt feelings between family members.

couple talking to lawyer about child custody with daughter hugging mother

Strategies for Resolving Family Disputes

When it comes to resolving family disputes, there are several strategies that non-profits can employ. These include mediation, arbitration, negotiation, and counseling services. Here’s a rundown of each:


Mediation is a process by which an impartial third party, known as a mediator, assists parties in coming to an agreement. The mediator helps individuals communicate their needs clearly and effectively while also guiding them toward mutually beneficial solutions. During the process, family members can express their feelings in a safe and supportive space, allowing them to better understand one another’s perspectives.


Arbitration is similar to mediation, but it involves a more formal process where an arbitrator decides how to resolve the dispute. This method can be beneficial when family members are unable to come to an agreement on their own and need a third-party opinion.


For more complex cases, such as in terms of child custody, legal proceedings may be necessary. Non-profits can provide the resources and assistance needed to navigate a successful litigation process.

For instance, they can connect the families to an experienced attorney for child custody who can help them understand their legal rights and obligations. The attorney can also represent their interests in court.


Non-profits can also provide counseling services to families in an effort to help them better manage emotions and communication. Counselors are skilled at handling difficult conversations, allowing family members to express themselves clearly, and providing strategies for finding common ground.

therapist counseling a group of female siblings

How Non-Profits Can Start The Intervention

Non-profit intervention can be incredibly beneficial for families in need of assistance with conflicts because it helps them reach resolutions quickly and efficiently. However, it can be challenging for these organizations to know where to start.

In most cases, non-profits should begin by connecting with community members who are affected by the family dispute. These individuals are key stakeholders and can provide valuable insights into the situation.

Additionally, non-profits should also look for organizations that specialize in providing family mediation services or legal assistance. Working together, these groups can develop a plan of action that can help the family resolve their dispute.

Finally, it’s important for non-profits to be aware of any potential risks associated with intervening in a family dispute. This includes understanding the dynamics of the situation and doing research on applicable laws or regulations related to the particular conflict.

Family disputes can be stressful experiences for everyone involved—but they don’t have to be. Non-profit organizations have the resources and expertise necessary to help families navigate these complicated times quickly and efficiently while also providing support throughout every step of the process. By utilizing these helpful strategies, non-profits are able to make a positive impact on communities facing family conflicts—and that’s something we should all strive towards.

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