Sunday, June 21, 2015
Jane Murphy (University of Baltimore School of Law ) and Jana Singer (University of Maryland Carey School of Law) have recently published Divorced from Reality: Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution (NYU Press 2015). The book is described by the authors:
Over the past thirty years, there has been a dramatic shift in the way the legal system approaches and resolves family disputes. This shift has replaced the law-oriented and judge-focused adversary model with a more collaborative and interdisciplinary regime that attempts to resolve both legal and non-legal issues. At the same time, American families have changed dramatically. Divorce rates have slowed, while the number of children born and raised outside of marriage has increased sharply. Grandparents, same sex partners and others considered third parties under the law are raising children. As a result, the families who seek legal dispute resolution have become more diverse and their legal situations more complex. Divorced from Reality argues that the current “problem solving” model fails to address the realities of today’s families. The authors suggest that while today’s dispute resolution regime may represent an improvement over its more adversary predecessor, it is built largely around the model of a divorcing nuclear family with lawyers representing all parties—a model that fits poorly with the realities of today’s disputing families. To serve the families it is meant to help, the legal system must rethink its reliance on courts and must adapt and reshape itself.
Order the book here.