Judicial Settlement-Seeking in Parenting Disputes: Consensus and Controversy
University of Toronto - Faculty of Law
June 3, 2011
“Judicial Settlement-Seeking in Parenting Disputes: Consensus and Controversy.” (2012) Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 309-332.
The judicial role in child custody and visitation disputes has traditionally been understood as one of authoritative decision-making. However this new empirical research suggests that many family court judges prioritize the pursuit of voluntary settlement in pre-trial conferences, using evaluative and facilitative mediation techniques. Drawing on qualitative interviews with judges and other family law professionals in Toronto and New York City, this article identifies points of consensus and controversy among settlement-seeking family judges. Despite the general support for settlement-seeking, there are substantial differences of opinion regarding coercion, due process, and the meaning of the best interests of the child standard.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: Dispute resolution, mediation, parenting, custodyAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 5, 2010 ; Last revised: March 2, 2013
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