About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

75 Md. L. Rev. Endnotes 9 (2016)
Moving Family Dispute Resolution from the Court System to the Community

handle is hein.journals/endnot75 and id is 9 raw text is: 









         MOVING FAMILY DISPUTE RESOLUTION FROM
            THE   COURT SYSTEM TO THE COMMUNITY

                 JANE  C. MURPHY*   AND  JANA  B. SINGER**
     Over  the past three decades, there has been  a significant shift in the
way  the legal system approaches  and resolves family  disputes. Mediation,
collaboration,  and  other  non-adversarial   processes  have   replaced   a
traditional, law-oriented adversarial  regime.'   Until recently,  however,
reformers  have  focused  largely on  the court  system  as  the setting for
innovations  in family dispute resolution.  But  our research  suggests that
courts  may   not be  the  best  places  for families  to resolve  disputes,
particularly disputes involving  children.   Moreover,   attempting to  turn
family  courts into multi-door dispute resolution centers may  detract from
their essential role as adjudicators of last resort and forums for the creation
and enforcement  of important social norms.  In this Essay, and in our recent
book, Divorced   From  Reality: Rethinking Family  Dispute  Resolution,2 we
suggest that family law  reformers  should rethink their continuing reliance
on courts and  consider moving  some  of the problem-solving  processes and
services that characterize today's family justice system out of the courts and
into the community.
     To  a significant extent, families with  access to legal and  financial
resources have  already moved  in this direction. If disputing families have
money,  they can choose  when  and  how  much  the court will be involved in
their break up and reorganization. Family  lawyers now  offer clients a range
of options for resolving disputes relating to separation and divorce.3 Given

    * Jane C. Murphy is the Laurence M. Katz Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School
of Law; B.A. 1975 Boston College; J.D. 1978, New York University School of Law.
    ** Jana B. Singer is Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of
Law; B.A. 1977 Dartmouth College; J.D. 1982, Yale University.
    1. See, e.g., DIVORCE AND  FAMILY  MEDIATION:  MODELS,  TECHNIQUES, AND
APPLICATIONS (Jay Folberg, Ann L. Milne & Peter Salem eds., 2004); Yishai Boyarin, Court-
Connected ADR-A Time of Crisis, A Time of Change, 95 MARQ. L. REV. 993 (2012): PAULINE
H. TESLER, COLLABORATIVE LAW (2d ed. 2008).
    2. JANE C. MURPHY & JANA B. SINGER, DIVORCED FROM REALITY: RETHINKING FAMILY
DISPUTE RESOLUTION (2015). This Essay draws on ideas presented at the Innovations in Family
Dispute Resolution Symposium, held at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of
Law on November 13, 2015. Portions of the Essay are also based on the authors' book and on
Jane C. Murphy, Stop Making Court a First Stop for Many Low Income Parents, BALT. SUN (June
15,   2015),  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/opedlbs-ed-family-court-20150615-
story.html.
    3. See, e.g., TESLER, supra note 1, at 3 (noting that [f]amily lawyers have led the way in
developing procedural alternatives to litigation); JULIE MACFARLANE, THE NEW LAWYER: How
SETTLEMENT IS TRANSFORMING THE PRACTICE OF LAW (UBC Press, 2008) at x (noting that


9

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most