Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1307790
 


 



An Interdisciplinary Approach to Family Law Jurisprudence: Application of an Ecological and Therapeutic Perspective


Barbara A. Babb


University of Baltimore - School of Law

Summer 1997

Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 72, p. 775, 1997

Abstract:     
Traditionally, the legal system has attempted to fashion morality in determining family legal issues rather than to devise legal remedies that accommodate how families live. This approach must change, and a new approach based on legal realism that effectuates the well-being of families and children must be developed. This article proposes an interdisciplinary approach based on an ecological and therapeutic jurisprudential paradigm to resolve family legal proceedings. An ecological approach, emanating from the ecology of human development social science paradigm, is one in which family law decision-makers consider factors beyond their conceptions of the family. This approach urges decision-makers to account for the "family ecology," which includes the institutions within which family members participate, such as neighborhoods and religious organizations. Utilizing an ecological approach to family law jurisprudence implies that decision-makers appreciate the importance of socially rich environments for family members and facilitate linkages between and among as many systems in litigants' lives as possible. The therapeutic jurisprudential paradigm emerges from the field of mental health law and looks at the role of law as a therapeutic agent. The author urges that family law decision-makers consider outcomes that have therapeutic or positive consequences for families and children. To employ this interdisciplinary ecological and therapeutic framework, the court system must accommodate a range of dispute resolution techniques, including negotiation, mediation, and adjudication, allowing the judge to strike a balance between the parties' own resolution and a full court trial of family law issues. An interdisciplinary paradigm for family law jurisprudence that applies the ecology of human development perspective and notions of therapeutic jurisprudence can ensure that family law decision-makers and the courts are a source of strength and support for the continued and enhanced functioning of America's families.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: therapeutic jurisprudence, family ecology, ecology of human development, family law, family law decision-making, contemporary family law issues, legal realism, unified family courts, interdisciplinary framework

JEL Classification: K1

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Date posted: November 29, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Babb, Barbara A., An Interdisciplinary Approach to Family Law Jurisprudence: Application of an Ecological and Therapeutic Perspective (Summer 1997). Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 72, p. 775, 1997. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1307790

Contact Information

Barbara A. Babb (Contact Author)
University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )
1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States
410-837-5661 (Phone)
410-837-5737 (Fax)
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