University of Denver

Principles for Family Justice Reform

Family Justice Initiative

As state courts around the country began developing plans to implement the broader civil justice reform recommendations developed by the Conference of Chief Justices in 2016, IAALS, National Center for State Courts, and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges also began focusing on evaluating and improving the way courts handle domestic relations cases, through the Family Justice Initiative.

The Family Justice Initiative released a final report with Principles for Family Justice Reform that cover a broad spectrum of improvements to the way domestic relations cases are handled, including:

  • A focus on problem-solving approaches that empower the families involved;
  • Development of a pathway triage system that matches services to cases and parties; and
  • Adoption of technologies that allow for better case management, which should speed case resolution times particularly for the majority of family cases that are uncontested.

The Conference of Chief Justices has approved the Principles.