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Just Court ADR

The blog of Resolution Systems Institute

Posts Tagged ‘family mediation’

Ensuring Safety in Family Cases: Screening for Intimate Partner Violence

Jennifer Shack, August 28th, 2015

While the debate continues as to whether cases in which a party has alleged intimate partner violence (IPV) should be mediated, new research adds to the evidence that current screening may not be identifying all family cases in which violence has occurred in the relationship. As discussed in, “Detection of Intimate Partner Violence and Recommendation for Joint Family Mediation: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Two Screening Measures” (21 Psychol. Pub. Pol’y & L. 239) [subscription required], the researchers found that when ADR program staff used a common type of screening procedure, reports of IPV were lower than when using a screen that asked more specific questions about what occurred in the relationship. (more…)

The Ups and Downs of ADR Policymaking

Mary Novak, September 17th, 2014

This is the story of how a law intended to increase mediation use led to a dramatic drop-off in mediation and what was done to try to fix the error.

In April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act came into force in England and Wales. The law cut legal aid, which formerly had been available for nearly all civil cases. In family law, legal aid for court cases was now only available for cases that involved allegations of domestic violence or child abuse. However, government funding for mediation of family case was increased by ten million pounds.  (more…)

Illinois Supreme Court Increases Reporting Requirements for Family Mediation

Jennifer Shack, September 24th, 2013

Anyone who knows RSI knows that we’re all about data. We believe that courts need good data about their programs in order to make good decisions about them. That’s why we were thrilled when the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Child Custody Issues asked for our help in developing a mediator report and participant survey that will be used statewide for family mediation. We’re even more thrilled that those forms have been adopted and will be required by the Supreme Court. This is part of the Court’s amendments to Rule 905, which went into effect September 1.

The rule, which governs child custody and visitation mediation, now requires that every judicial circuit file a quarterly report with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts that includes “the number of custody, visitation and removal cases referred to mediation; the outcome of such a referral; number of cases referred on a pro bono basis; and the percentage of cases where the parties expressed satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the process.”  The information will be used for what we love best at RSI – review of the mediation program statewide.

A more substantive change in the rule expands mandatory mediation to include a custodial parent’s request to remove a child to another state. It also requires the courts to make a “good faith” effort to provide an interpreter when a non-English speaking parent is involved in mediation and to provide a pro bono attorney when applicable.