The Family Courts

Our civil courts do not just deal with torts, contracts, and property cases. They also deal with family cases. In fact, more than one half of cases in state civil courts are family cases of one type or another. We have jumped into that fray to try to assure that the family court process works better for people as well. After all, it is the place where most Americans come into contact with the courts—and at a very vulnerable time in their lives, and their children’s lives.

In this area, we are cutting a wide swath as well. We are building a movement of family court judges and lawyers who believe the time has come for broad and deep change.

We helped in the development of an Informal Domestic Relations Procedures, which gives people access to an easily navigable simplified divorce or separation process. It is being implemented in Oregon and Alaska. And, it is efficient and fast.

We also developed and launched a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary model for separating and divorcing families which has given families in the Denver-metro area access to an out-of-court environment that provides them with therapeutic services, financial and legal information, and mediation, and that prioritizes their children. This new model can revolutionize the way divorce or separation is handled in the United States, and will be replicated nationwide.

We have also committed ourselves to listening to the large and growing number of self-represented litigants who navigate our courts without an attorney, so that their voices can be heard. Their perspectives on the successes and pitfalls of the family court process will be extremely important as we propose solutions.