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Family Law Quarterly

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The thesis of this article is that every unified family court should develop a prevention plan to help parents reduce conflict arising out of divorce and separation. A coherent prevention strategy should become a fundamental criteria for distinguishing high-quality family courts from those that do not serve their publics as well. Models of useful pro-grams already exist and can be incorporated into a court's prevention plan. Judges, legislators, lawyers, mental health professionals, and child advocates should insist that they are.

Section Two of this article describes the problems facing courts, parents, and children resulting from divorce and separation in terms of a public health rather than a caseload model. Then, this article details the epidemic-like crisis facing family courts because of increased case-loads and troubled parents and children. The fourth section describes already existing preventive education programs that family courts can draw on and briefly summarizes the available research on their effectiveness. The fifth section describes the comprehensive prevention approach designed by Oregon's interdisciplinary Task Force on Family Law. Finally, this article discusses how a unified family court can incorporate a prevention strategy into its mission.

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Family Law Commons