This chapter discusses the critique of adversary family justice made by proponents of the new paradigm and explains how the current family dispute resolution regime developed as a response to this critique. Critics argued first and foremost that reliance on adversary processes to resolve family disputes harms children, noting that reliance on adversary procedures strains parent–child relationships at a time when children are most in need of effective and consistent parenting. They also pointed out that adversary procedures do little to teach parents how to manage their conflict or to relate to each other after the court process is over. The paradigm shift in family dispute resolution responds directly to this critique, targeting parental conflict and focusing on enhancing the well-being of children and families by reducing the conflict associated with parental separation and divorce. To this end, the new paradigm seeks to educate parents about the detrimental impact of separation-related conflict and the importance of developing a positive co-parenting relationship.
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