Judicial Education

Judges handling divorce, separation, and parental responsibility matters are confronted with complicated issues that intersect law, psychology, financial planning, social work, and dispute resolution. Without adequate education—both before coming to the bench and over the course of a career—at best, a judge gains expertise over time, through hands-on experience or self-education; at worst, outcomes and families are negatively impacted.

The Honoring Families Initiative supports comprehensive and continuing judicial education for family court judges.

Iowa Family Law Task Force Recommendations

The Iowa Supreme Court Family Law Case Processing Reform Task Force issued a report to the Iowa Supreme Court that contains various recommendations concerning family law case processing in Iowa. For the court’s consideration during the 2016 administrative term, the Task Force recommended the development of continuing education programs for judges and court staff on the use of unbundled legal services and regarding interactions with self-represented litigants. “These recommendations,” the Task Force noted, “will reduce barriers for self-represented litigants, a crucial system need.” The full report contains a host of recommendations for just, efficient, and consistent procedures for Iowans, as well as suggestions for further consideration or research.

Ohio Domestic Relations Summit

In April 2014, the Supreme Court of Ohio sponsored the Ohio Domestic Relations Summit: Maximizing Resources, Minimizing Conflict for Children and Families (Summit). The Summit provided a forum in which family court judges from around the state could explore existing programs and promising court practices. Following the Summit, county-based teams of judges and community justice system partners are working to implement ideas developed during the Summit. A substantial bibliography on domestic relations topics was compiled in advance of the Summit and is available to the public through the Resource section of the website.