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51 Fam. Ct. Rev. 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/fmlcr51 and id is 1 raw text is: 




EDITOR'S NOTE


             KVELL[ING11 FOR FAMILY COURT REVIEW ON ITS
                                 FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY


   This issue begins the fifty-first volume of Family Court Review (FCR) and is a good time to pause
to reflect on where we began and to take pride in how far we have come.
   (FCR  began life in March 1963  as the California Conciliation Courts Quarterly and continued
publishing under that name only until June 1964. The publication then signified its desire to expand
beyond  its original geographic home and for higher academic aspirations by dropping California
from  its title and becoming a Review rather than a Quarterly. The Conciliation Courts Review
began publication in January 1965. Indicating the desire for a still broader focus and the increasing
integration of alternatives to litigation into the family court process, the Conciliation Courts Review
changed  its name to the Family and Conciliation Courts Review in July 1989. It published under that
name  until October 2000. In January 2001, this publication's name became what it is today. While its
name  changed, the core focus of this publication has always been the same. Its goal in March 1963 and
today remains the same. FCR seeks to develop and disseminate the intellectual capital so that the legal
system can better meet the needs of families and children.
   Volume  1, Issue 1 of the California Conciliation Courts Quarterly was, however, a stranger in a
strange land.2 In 1963, California law specified seven grounds for divorce or separation: adultery,
extreme cruelty, willful desertion, willful neglect, habitual intemperance, conviction of a felony, and
incurable insanity. Parents sued one another for divorce in an adversarial proceeding much like a claim
in tort or contract law. Children were treated like property to be awarded to one of the parents, almost
inevitably the mother. The number  of divorces in California, though growing, was comparatively
small. The 1966  Report of the Governor's Commission  on the Family, which envisioned no fault
divorce and a never created comprehensive family court, was still three years away.
   Volume  I, Issue 1 spoke in a different voice. That issue was the child of the California Conciliation
Courts, a radical institution premised on the unproven idea that nonlawyers such as marriage coun-
selors affiliated with a divorce court could provide helpful services to parents to help keep their
marriages together and  spare parents and children from involvement in the adversary system  of
justice.
   The functions of the California Conciliation Courts have evolved over time away from reconcili-
ation of marriages to better managing the effects of divorce and separation on children and parents.
Mediation, parent education, neutral custody evaluations, and parent coordination have replaced
conciliation.
   The core ideas of Volume 1, Issue I and the California Conciliation Courts were that the future of
children should not be treated as a tort claim or a contract dispute and that families would benefit from
multidisciplinary services to help them plan for their futures. These core ideas remain as powerful
today as they were radical when first proposed. Volume 1, Issue 1 sowed the seeds of what Jana Singer,
a member  of FCR's editorial board, has felicitously described in these pages as the velvet revolution
in family law. This paradigm shift has replaced the law-oriented, judge-focused adversary model
with a more collaborative, interdisciplinary, and forward-looking family dispute resolution regime. It
has also transformed the practice of family law and fundamentally altered the way in which disputing
families interact with the legal system.3
   California Conciliation Courts Quarterly was launched in 1963-a  year of great transitions for
America,  and not necessarily a propitious time to begin a process of revolution in family law. The


FAMILY COURT REVIEW, Vol. 51 No. 1, January 2013 1-6
c 2013 Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

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