Local rule against joint physical custody overturned
Child custody treaty case splits Supreme Court on new lines

What real reform of the legal system would look like

Does the Law Society know that there's an internet generation? - Times Online.

This column by Richard Susskind takes a comprehensive and visionary view of how both the legal profession and the courts should change to meet the needs, expectations and practices not just of the future, but of the present. It does not address family law specifically, but it applies very much to family law as well as the rest of the legal system.

I'm not saying I agree with every word of it as applied to family law, because any family law reform also needs to incorporate the advances in marriage repair and divorce prevention of the last 15 years. There is currently a lot of interest in reform of family courts and divorce law in Britain, Europe and the U.S., but unfortunately the people involved -- on the right, the left, and even the not-so-political -- are not informed of, or not thinking about, what has been learned lately about the bad effects of divorce and better ways of preventing it.


Gary Borger

I have felt for years that a divorce panel rather than a judge alone could help spouses in their quest for a divorce that can't be resolved through direct negotiations, mediation, or attorney negotiation. That panel would consist of a judge, an accountant or other financial expert, and a psychologist, social worker or other family therapist who could help the parties and their attorneys reach resolution short of trial and, if necessary, who could try the case with a consensus opinion from a panel versed in the law, finances, and social science. Unfortunately in this recession in which we find ourselves, such a panel would be more expensive than a single judge and is not financially feasible. However, were finances not an issue, it would be a wonderful experiment in improving our system of having a single judge (who in many cases most likely never practiced family law as an attorney) decide the futures of two adults and possibly their offspring as well.

Steven Peskind

Interesting post. I am a huge fan of Susskind. He get's it. Unfortunately the courts don't. Here is a link to a post I made on the same subject. http://tinyurl.com/29m767r

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