Legal Issues in divorce

Improving how we handle divorce disputes remains an important area of research and policy analysis.

Murphy, J. C., & Singer, J. B. (2015).  Divorced from reality:  Rethinking family dispute resolution.  New York, NY:  NYU Press.  ISBN: 9780814708934

Law professors outline ways to improve our policies and procedures to help families manage their disputes in more effective ways.  They suggest moving dispute resolution services out of the court and into the community, involving children more effectively in the decision-making process and insuring more time and involvement with both parents in post-divorce parenting plans.

Li, K. (2015). What He Did Was Lawful?: Divorce Litigation and Gender Inequality in China. Law & Policy. doi:

An examination of gender inequality in court proceedings before and during the divorce process.  This study examines the China legal system.

New Articles in the Journal of Child Custody, March 2014

Here are four articles in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Child Custody.  

Di Stefano, G., & Cyr, F. (2014). Child adjustment following parental separation: The role of maternal well-being, parenting quality, and household income. Journal of Child Custody, 11(1), 5-24.  doi:10.1080/15379418.2014.892802

Froyd, D. “., & Cain, D. J. (2014). Toward a humanistic approach to child custody mediation: A delicate balance. Journal of Child Custody, 11(1), 41-60. doi:10.1080/15379418.2014.892803

Garber, B. D. (2014). The chameleon child: Children as actors in the high conflict divorce drama. Journal of Child Custody, 11(1), 25-40. doi:10.1080/15379418.2014.892805

Lennings, C. J., Brummert Lennings, H. I., Bussey, K., & Taylor, A. J. (2014). Family risk assessment: Characteristics of families with child abuse notifications in australia. Journal of Child Custody, 11(1), 61-75. doi:10.1080/15379418.2014.892804

Online Divorce Support Resources Increasing

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts met May 28-June 1, 2013 and many of the exhibitors displayed online resources to support families going through divorce.

Online parent education programs

Managing Coparenting Relationships

There are also some new online tools for managing co-parenting relationships following divorce.  These seem to be designed to help parents who are likely to have conflicts manage their relationships more effectively.

Online Divorce/Conflict Mediation Tools or Services

There are also a variety of online mediation tools that are being developed.


Useful Website for Divorcing Parents

Just found this website, Up to Parents.  Has a lot of free, useful information that looks good on a quick glance.  I will go back and review this in more detail.  Includes some good tools and activities for parents trying to resolve co-parenting challenges.

Judges Play Sometimes Conflicting Roles in Divorce Settlements

Noel Semple recently published an interesting  report based on interviews with judges and other legal professionals that reminds us that judges play more varied roles in divorce disputes. These roles raise important questions about whether the structure is fair and whether children’s interests are sufficiently protected by current practices.

Semple interviewed 10 sitting or recently retired judges and 18 legal professionals (lawyers, mediators, and law professors) in Toronto and New York.

Not surprisingly, Semple reports that in general, judges do not see their primary role as the decision-maker for divorcing parents, but rather “they actively seek to bring about consensual settlements in their custody and visitation cases.” In other words, when parents come to a mutual agreement about parenting plans, judges view this as success.  As a result judges often play more of a mediator role in the divorce process, rather than an arbitrator of claims by parents.  Semple also suggests that judges may inadvertently not take children’s needs into account because of their efforts to get the parents to come to a mutual agreement.   See a more extended summary on Huffington Post.

Complicated Emotions such as Guilt, Shame and Regret May Effect Divorce

Guilt, shame and regret are common emotions that are experienced during the divorce process. Regardless of the circumstances of the divorce, both husbands and wives are likely to experience various amounts of these emotions. Anne Wietzker, Ann Buysse, Tom Loeys and Ruben Brondeel at Ghent University in Belgium have done some very interesting work in trying to understand how these negative emotions may influence the negotiation process between divorcing couples.  See my extended discussion on Huffington Post.

Organizations for Professionals Working with Divorcing Famlies

There are many organizations for professionals working with divorcing families.  Here is a list of the organizations for professionals.