Family courts are also often inefficient and not necessarily the best way to make good decisions. The adversary system works fine for deciding a historical fact like who pulled the trigger or ran the red light: put the two best re-creations of the event in front of a fact finder and get a decision. But family court decisions involve not historical facts but future predictions—what arrangements will be best for the children? And the target is a moving one—the answer today may be very different from the answer next month or next year. Unfortunately, most of us legally trained judges are only superficially knowledgeable about the complicated issues of family dynamics and child development raised by parenting cases, and rarely are the resources and time available to get us the comprehensive, sophisticated evidence needed to reach the best result. Add the complicated procedural rules the adversary system needs to make sure the fight is fair, and staff the system with lawyers who are trained in legal combat and paid by the hour, and you have a system that makes the health care establishment look positively streamlined.
via www.tikkun.orgCathie's notes: Great article from Bruce Peterson, formerly the presiding judge of the Hennepin County (MN) Family Court. Read the rest of the article here.