|The Cady Initiative|||||Cady Initiative Principles|||||Cady Initiative Demonstration Sites|||||The Cady Initiative Collaborative|
To test the practicality and effectiveness of these recommendations, four courts ranging in geographical location and size piloted the recommended Cady Initiative Principles to demonstrate their feasibility in practice and effects on key outcomes for domestic relations cases. In working with the demonstration sites, project staff found that jurisdictions often already implemented several strategies aligned with the Cady Initiative Principles and serve to support families throughout their domestic relations case.
Demonstration site locations
Connecticut Judicial Branch
Connecticut instituted a new Family Court process in January 2021. The new triage and pathways approach to family cases prioritizes bringing cases early to speak with family relations personnel to assess the needs of cases and make recommendations about the level of resources needed to bring cases to a successful resolution. The Connecticut Judicial Branch produced a video series to provide information about the new process. The videos include an overview of the new Family Court process, what parties should expect, the process regarding child custody and access, and the importance of staying out of conflict.
Connecticut's New Family Court Process Overview
What Parties Should Expect
The Court Process Regarding Child Custody & Access
Staying Out of Conflict
King County, Washington
In King County (Seattle) Washington (2.23 million population), Domestic Relations cases are heard in Superior Court. When children are involved, the cases are heard in the Family Court; divorces without children are heard by other judges. There were 8,682 Domestic Relations petitions filed per year in 2017.
Miami-Dade County, Florida
In Miami, Florida (2.76 million population), Domestic Relations cases are heard by the Family Court Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida (Miami-Dade County). The Family Court Division handles dissolution of marriage, paternity/parentage, child support, temporary support/alimony, adoptions, and name change. There is also Unified Children’s Court that operates the One Family, One Judge model and has jurisdiction over related family law matters from cases in Family Court, Juvenile Court, and the Domestic Violence Division. There were 32,305 Domestic Relations petitions filed per year in 2017.
The Hon. Scott M. Bernstein Presiding Judge, Family Division
Cuyahoga County, Ohio
In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio (population of 1.24M), divorce, dissolution, custody, child support, and domestic violence cases are heard in the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. (Paternity, parental rights, and child custody with never married parents are heard in the Juvenile Division.) There are approximately 7,700 Domestic Relations cases filed per year.
Pima County, Arizona
In Pima County (Tucson), Arizona (population of 1.02M), domestic relations cases are heard in the Superior Court. The Family Law Bench handles all domestic relations matters, including divorce or legal separation, parenting plans, paternity, child or spousal support, and protective orders. There are approximately 5,000-6,000 Domestic Relations cases filed per year.