Adversarial Legal Battles Harm Families

23 June 2010

Courts and society have been grappling with an ever increasing family break down rate and the regrettable fall out that follows.  In the last decade the Family Court has been proactive in leading the charge and moving towards a less adversarial approach where possible.  To do this, Family relationship Centres are being utilised in an attempt to get parents to come to arrangements without recourse to court proceedings.

If this method does not work and parents are unable to resolve their dispute prior to Court, there is now a new trial pocess which aims to minimise the negative impact that the traditional adversarial trial can have on children.  The proceedings take the focus away from "winning at all costs" or "punishing the other parent for their actions" and instead places attention on finding the best solution for the children.  Parents can speak directly to the Judge.  The Judge limits evidence and relies on a family consultant as an advisor.

A recent evaluation report conducted by Griffin University found that parents who participated in this new trial process were generally more satisfied with the outcome than participants in an adversarial regime.