Family Courts Resource Guide
Family courts handle a variety of matters relating to the family, including juvenile matters, child abuse, custody, visitation, child support, and sometimes probate. Family courts offer or refer the public to a wide variety of services, including counseling, mediation, parenting classes, and social services.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
The AJA announces “Effective Adjudication of Domestic Abuse Cases,” the newly developed and free online domestic violence education program for judges. The program explores the unique dynamics of domestic violence, including assessing lethality and dangerousness, custody and protective orders, special evidentiary issues, and effective sentencing.
Future Trends in State Courts. This article provides examples of three different functions of family-friendly courts - assigning cases, coordinating cases, and coordinating services.
Cassidy, Harry T. The Future of the Unified Family Court. (2007)
Future Trends in State Courts. A Review of Perspectives from New Jersey. A family-centered court that is designed to address a wide range of family issues may class with the perceived needs of a range of institutional stakeholders that file cases in family court.
NCSC, The COSCA Courts, and Children and Family Committee A compilation of information about innovative court-based programs for children and families.
Research examines the frequency with which families in the court system have multiple related cases filed in different court.
Families come to court for many reasons, and some families return to court frequently. For these families, a coordinated approach to the multiplicity of cases involving various family members and an integrated human service delivery system seems to hold the most promise of moving the family toward self-sufficiency.
Domestic relations cases are a large and socially important segment of the caseload in state courts. Among domestic relations cases, divorce cases are among the most important for judges and court managers. Divorce cases comprise a third of all domestic relations cases.
This short article discusses the new Fathering Court Program implemented in Washington DC. The program offers support to incarcerated parents, helping them meet the emotional needs of their children. More information on the new Fathering Court can be found here.
Family violence is a complex issue that involves a variety of family and criminal legal issues. Yet the court system remains fragmented-typically handling criminal cases in one court and civil in another.
Future Trends in State Courts. This article reviews the 1994 establishment of the Integrated Family Court in Deschutes County, Oregon. It looks at the reasons why this unified model with not implemented statewide and addresses findings from a 2006 study on the benefits on integrated family courts.
Kaleina, Georgene. Survey Registers Appreciable Rise in Family Courts Nationwide. (Spring 2008). Unified Family Court Connection. University of Baltimore School of Law, Center for Families, Children and the Courts
This article discusses the findings of a recent comprehensive survey of the nation's family courts to assess the growth of family justice reform movement. Also provided is a classification of the status of family courts every state.