University of Denver

About Honoring Families

Honoring Families is an initiative of IAALS dedicated to developing and promulgating evidence-informed processes and options for families involved in divorce, separation, or parental responsibility cases that enable better outcomes for children and that provide greater accessibility, efficiency, and fairness for all parties, including those without counsel.

The vast majority of Americans who become involved with the civil justice system do so in the realm of divorce, separation, or to resolve parenting disputes. For the millions of families and their children who bring their problems to courts every year, justice is not being served when the system is inefficient, inaccessible, and unaccountable. The IAALS Honoring Families Initiative envisions a system that empowers spouses/parents by providing them with the information and options they need to chart the course that is best for their family, and offers prompt, easy access to the courts when necessary. We work toward an accessible, efficient, and fair family justice system.

Honoring Families also recognizes that the responsibility for providing help and support to divorcing or separating families extends beyond the courts. Entire communities are affected by how members of a family function together and—once divided—apart. Businesses around the country experience the impact of divorce and related domestic strife, including in their bottom line. Nonprofits, educational institutions, and the private sector all play an essential role in ensuring that families in our communities receive the help and support they need. 

In collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders, the Honoring Families Initiative develops, implements, and evaluates promising new practices and explores existing innovations around the country that lead to positive outcomes for children, provide better access to legal, mental health, and financial resources for spouses/parents, and ensure efficiency and fairness. By sharing our research, findings, and recommendations with judges, lawyers, academics, mental health professionals, and other stakeholders in the family court system and broader community, we aim to encourage and inspire continuous improvement in the family justice system and spark an educated national dialogue about how courts and communities can better meet the needs of families. 

This white paper describes the premises and policies for the Honoring Families Initiative (HFI) at IAALS. The goal of the paper and, more broadly, of HFI’s projects, is to offer new models of service...
This article examines the ways in which familial distress surrounding separation and divorce can affect individual employee productivity and negatively impact a business' bottom line. This article...
Director of Special Projects
Senior Legal Assistant