Family Court Review

Cover image for Vol. 55 Issue 1

Edited By: Barbara Babb

Online ISSN: 1744-1617

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  1. You have free access to this content
    A Survey of Beliefs and Priorities About Access to Justice of Family Law: The Search for A Multidisciplinary Perspective* (pages 120–138)

    Peter Salem and Michael Saini

    Version of Record online: 18 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/fcre.12267

    Key Points for the Family Court Community:

    • Although there is much agreement among professionals in defining access to justice and prioritizing changes to the system, there are some important differences about the values and weight given to the various approaches.
    • Awareness, understanding, and respect for the various perspectives about how best to meet the needs of families are important steps toward meaningful interdisciplinary dialogue. With effective interdisciplinary dialogue, these various perspectives may work in concert rather than compete for the limited resources available to assist families involved in family law matters.
    • Long-term outcomes should ultimately measure whether services reduce litigation and court costs for families. Longitudinal studies are needed to track families as they progress through the various legal and community services to identify the services that best meet their needs and that are the most effective in resolving the issues that first brought them to the attention of the courts.
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    The Family Law Bar, the Interdisciplinary Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Parents, and the “Spark to Kindle the White Flame of Progress” (pages 84–96)

    Andrew Schepard, Marsha Kline Pruett and Rebecca Love Kourlis

    Version of Record online: 18 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/fcre.12264

    Key Points for the Family Court Community:

    • The Resource Center experience establishes that holistic problem-solving-focused services provided by interdisciplinary teams that include lawyers benefit separating and divorcing parents and children.
    • The traditional model of delivering legal services to parents in separation and divorce requires each to be represented by his/her own lawyer. That model is not economically viable for many families. Center parents, in contrast, receive legal information from a single source—Center mediators and legal educators. The positive impact of Center services suggests that the traditional model is not optimal in many cases and regulatory changes should be made to give parents an option to use just one lawyer, with informed consent.
    • The Family Law Bar can use the Center experience as inspiration to collaborate with other professions to develop innovative multidisciplinary service delivery models for parents and children in separating and divorcing families and to re-examine regulatory barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration.
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    Not Without my Children: The Need for the Modification of International Child Abduction Laws (pages 139–151)

    Mishal Pahrand

    Version of Record online: 18 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/fcre.12268

    Key Points for the Family Court Community:

    • International child abduction is an issue that negatively affects thousands of U.S. parents.
    • Countries cannot be forced to sign or comply with an international treaty.
    • We have to rely extensively and often exclusively on diplomatic relations to resolve international child abduction cases if a treaty is not in place.
    • The Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (UCAPA) has been drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State law but has not yet been enacted by Congress.
    • Some states have either adopted the provisions set forth by the UCAPA or established similar regulations and procedures of their own.
    • This Note seeks to set forth preventive measures and exit controls in an effort to promote uniformity across the nation with regard to international child abduction laws.
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    From Talk to Action: How the IAALS Summit Recommendations Can Reshape Family Justice (pages 97–106)

    Natalie A. Knowlton

    Version of Record online: 18 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/fcre.12265

    Key Points for the Family Court Community:

    • Self-represented litigants are increasingly the bulk of the clientele in family courts around the country.
    • There is an opportunity for family courts and court personnel to fill the information gap that self-represented litigants often face.
    • IAALS Cases Without Counsel study findings illustrate that, like represented parties, self-represented litigants have varying experiences in the family justice system, lending credence to the notion that not all cases necessitate the same court treatment and resources.
    • The Cases Without Counsel study also called attention to the challenges self-represented litigants experience as laymen navigating a process designed for use by professionals, highlighting the potential for family court processes to be more responsive to the unique needs of nonattorney users.
    • Fully realizing the role of the family law attorney as problem solver and counselor may necessitate amendments to existing regulatory and professional ethics rules.
    • Attorneys, family courts, family court personnel, law schools, legal educators, and broader community partners all have a role to play in reshaping family court processes.
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    January 2017 (pages 5–7)

    Barbara A. Babb

    Version of Record online: 18 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/fcre.12262