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Texas Law Review

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A divorce-related custody dispute often causes more damage to the affected child than if lawyers and judges had never become involved. Contested custody disputes often drag on for years without resolution, leaving the child trapped between battling parents, adversarial lawyers, and overburdened courts applying uncertain substantive standards through procedures that increase parental conflict and expense.

This Article tries to resolve this "identity crisis" by describing and defending a new model for the custody dispute resolution system-one whose overriding aim is to better serve the needs of the child affected by divorce by promoting cooperation between divorced parents. The Article has four themes.