University of Denver

Out of Court and In Collaboration

Evaluating a New Model for Separation and Divorce in a University Setting
Director of Research
Former Director of Research, IAALS
Maconda Brown O'Connor Professor, Smith College School for Social Work

This report chronicles and analyzes the two-year pilot project of IAALS' out-of-court model for separation and divorce at the Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families. It includes information on:

  • The service process;
  • The families who came into contact with the Center;
  • Service utilization and program progression;
  • Well-being outcomes;
  • Feedback from parents, supervising staff, and members of the community; and
  • Student intern self-assessments.

The purpose of this report is to provide insight into one implementation of the IAALS model, both as a broad demonstration of how family-centered innovations can improve our family law system and as a tool for building upon and replicating the model. The primarily positive results will be useful for policy makers and decision makers nationwide.

With completion of the on-campus demonstration project, IAALS supported the creation of a community-based version of the Center. The Center for Out-of-Court Divorce – Denver (COCD) was in operation until 2017 and was evaluated in a similar fashion.

Whether on-campus or community-based, the IAALS interdisciplinary model has the potential to serve separating and divorcing families across the country and well into the future.