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Never a wise way, says US judge

US Judge Bruce R Cohen of the Maricopa Court is the author of a thought experiment. It packs a powerful message: the way we deal with divorce and separation was never a wise way to do it.

Judge Bruce R Cohen

Imagine a new world where society has to create, from scratch, an effective way to support families. People settle down as couples and also as parents to raise children in families. And they recognize that some will end their couple relationship but continue their relationship as parents to care for their children.

To address this issue, imagine that society gathers its greatest scholars, thinkers, philosophers, mental health experts, legal experts, theologians, educators, community representatives etc.  They are locked in a room and told not to leave until they have found a way to ensure a healthy transition for separating families — a way that best helps the parents work productively together to promote the health and well-being of their children.

How many of us believe this room full of experts would ever settle on an adversarial legal process as the best way to do it? 

Judge Cohen is a member of the Two Wishes Law and Justice Advisory Board that’s currently working on a comprehensive model of what the world’s best family court would look like. That means a focus on how it would handle cases involving children in ways that are more sensitive to their needs.

Equally importantly, they’re looking at best practices around the globe to recommend how best to divert couples away from adversarial law entirely as it was never a wise way.

Top photo from X (aka Twitter) in 2019: “Kayana’s family has a little fun with Judge Bruce Cohen after her adoption was finalized”