As a Florida family law attorney, I tell clients all the time that – for the sake of their children, finances, and sanity – it is best if divorcing spouses are able to reach an agreement on their own, without leaving important decisions that will affect the rest of their lives up to a judge. I have found that interdisciplinary collaborative practice is the best way for families to reach a resolution, though other options (such as mediation and direct negotiations) are also almost always better than the court system.
Sue Cochrane, who served as a family law judge in Minnesota, also believes that the current family court system is broken. Below are excerpts of an article she penned for The Collaborative Review (Winter 2014 / Volume 15, Issue 1):
After eighteen years on the family bench I am sensitive to the needs of the thousands who still show up [to court] due to lack of funds or awareness of other options. Having Collaborative practitioners and others from diverse disciplines working side-by side with those of us from the courts was, in my opinion, a monumental advancement.
The law is well-known for being logical and dispassionate. Courts are where intellect and linear, analytic thinking prevails. In the admirable pursuit of truth and justice, the courts can inadvertently deny the humanity of the people it is supposed to serve and even of the judges and staff who work there.