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Divorced from RealityRethinking Family Dispute Resolution$
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Jane C. Murphy and Jana B. Singer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780814708934

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814708934.001.0001

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(p.5) 1 Historical Overview

(p.5) 1 Historical Overview

(p.5) 1 Historical Overview
Divorced from Reality

Jane C. Murphy

Jana B. Singer

NYU Press

This chapter traces the doctrinal and procedural antecedents of the late twentieth-century paradigm shift in family dispute resolution. Doctrinal developments in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries expanded and transformed the judicial role in divorce and custody disputes, ultimately making courts the primary guardians of children's welfare in the face of family breakdown. In addition, the therapeutic underpinnings of progressive-era juvenile justice reform shifted in the mid-twentieth century from the delinquency to the divorce and custody context. Finally, the shift from a fault-based, sole custody regime to a no-fault co-parenting model in the 1980s and early 1990s simultaneously undermined the efficacy of traditional adversary processes and invited ongoing court involvement in families affected by divorce and parental separation—both important elements of the new paradigm.

Keywords:   family dispute resolution, divorce, custody disputes, children's welfare, juvenile justice reform, family breakdown, parental separation

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