Cantrell, Deborah
June 2012
Journal of Law & Family Studies;2012, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p63
Academic Journal
Scholars reviewing family law over the last twenty years have described the field as having undergone a revolution. While true, both scholars and front-line family law advocates have failed to invent a satisfying end to the revolution. This Article takes up that challenge and offers a novel way forward. It identifies two translation challenges that have prevented the revolution from reaching its end. The first challenge is translating reform so that its benefits accrue equally across all kinds of participants--rich and poor, those with lawyers and those without. The second challenge is translating theory into on-the-ground practices useful to family courts. The Article uses the collaborative law movement as an example of the translation problem of unequal access and distribution, and scholarship on family law and emotions as an example of the translation problem of crafting useful on-the-ground practices. To solve both translation challenges, the Article proposes that courts and court-annexed programs build out practices of equipoise. The Article defines equipoise as a mode of processing information and emotions that disrupts habituated and unhelpful interactions between persons and instead encourages thoughtful engagement with emotions, resulting in reduced adversarialness and constructive problem solving. It considers examples of equipoise practices, some commonplace (such as role-playing) and some more esoteric (like meditation) and demonstrates how such practices can efficiently and productively be translated into court processes that are available to all family law participants. As a result, the Article demonstrates how to invent a satisfying end to the family law revolution


Related Articles

  • NEW ZEALAND'S FAMILY COURT - REFLECTIONS FOR THE FAMILY LAW ACT OF ENGLAND AND WALES. Roberts, Melanie // International Journal of Law, Policy & the Family;Aug1997, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p246 

    The proposals for mediation and the emphasis on party autonomy for resolving disputes between divorcing spouses contained in the Family Law Act 1996 of England and Wales are examined in the light of the experience of New Zealand's Family Court. A number of issues and concerns are raised...

  • Nassau family court considers mediation. Fletcher, Heather // Long Island Business News (7/1993 to 5/2009);4/15/2005, Vol. 52 Issue 16, p5A 

    The article reports that New York's Nassau County Family Court officials are considering the use of mediation to help smooth out the process. Dan Weitz, the alternative dispute resolution coordinator for the New York State Unified Court System, is working with Nassau County Family Chief Clerk...

  • Judicial Settlement-Seeking in Parenting Cases: A Mock Trial. Semple, Noel // Journal of Dispute Resolution;2013, Vol. 2013 Issue 2, p301 

    The article evaluates judicial mediation in parenting disputes by identifying several features that distinguish child custody and visitation disputes from other types of civil litigation. It further describes and evaluates three arguments that might be made against the use of judicial...

  • Program helps alleviate family child welfare issues. Ferris, Melanie // Windspeaker;Jul2008, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p10 

    The article reports on the Talking Together Program created by the Legal Services Corp. which aims to provide parents involved with child welfare an alternative way to solve conflicts in Ontario. It mentioned that the program is one of only two "alternative dispute resolution" programs for...

  • Resolution of Disputes in Family Law. Harrison, Margaret // Family Matters;Autumn97 Australian, Issue 46, p43 

    The article focuses on primary dispute resolution services of the Family Court. The Family Court of Australia is now over 20 years old. Because of its multidisciplinary approach and its philosophy that litigation is seen as a step of last resort, the term Family Court in the Australian context...

  • Working with Aboriginal Families. Ralph, Stephen // Family Matters;Autumn97 Australian, Issue 46, p46 

    The article presents insights and knowledge gained from providing conciliation counseling to Aboriginal families at times of family breakdown and separation. The Family Court has in recent years sought to make the Court and its dispute resolution services more accessible to Aboriginal and Torres...

  • PROFESSIONAL.  // Lesbian -- Gay Law Notes;May2015, p234 

    The article offers lesbian and gay professional notes as of May 1, 2015 including administration of oath of office to four openly lesbian gay lawyers appointed to the Family Court on April 27, 2015, and awarding of Positive Leadership Award by advocacy event AIDSWatch 2015 on April 13, 2015.

  • Dispute resolution choices: A comparison of family dispute resolution, family law conferencing services and collaborative law. Caruana, Catherine // Family Matters;2010, Issue 85, p80 

    The article focuses on family dispute resolution (FDR) choices including collaborative law practice and family law conferencing. FDR practitioners can give certificates to indicate whether the FDR is appropriate or not. In the process of collaborative law practice and family law conferencing,...

  • Before You Take a Collaborative Law Case. LANDE, JOHN; MOSTEN, FORREST S. // Family Advocate;Fall2010, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p31 

    The article presents a detailed discussion on the area of Collaborative Law (CL) in the family law practice. As stated, CL refers to an impressive dispute resolution process which provides significant benefits for disputants in appropriate cases. A four-way "participation agreement" is signed...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics