Article first published online: 20 APR 2012
© 2012 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
Family Court Review
Volume 50, Issue 2, pages 273–279, April 2012
How to Cite
Huntington, C. (2012), FLOURISHING FAMILIES. Family Court Review, 50: 273–279. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-1617.2012.01450.x
- Issue published online: 20 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 20 APR 2012
- Family law;
- alternative dispute resolution;
- child welfare
Despite considerable reform over the past several decades, family law is still failing families. Instead of strengthening relationships long before problems arise, too often family law waits for a crisis and then intervenes, typically in a heavy-handed, adversarial fashion. This essay, an extended précis of a forthcoming book, argues that family law should be fundamentally oriented toward fostering strong, stable, positive relationships to prevent crises. Then, if a conflict does arise, family law should intervene in a manner that preserves and repairs relationships.
Key Points for the Family Court Community:
- •Despite considerable evidence demonstrating the essential role families play in ensuring the well-being of the next generation, family law does far too little to strengthen families.
- •Once conflicts do arise, family law pits one family member against the other, undermining the relationships that will almost certainly continue long after the legal action ends.
- •Family law should be fundamentally oriented toward fostering strong, stable, positive relationships, which will require changes to both the structural relationship between families and the state and the dispute-resolution system.