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The average time for many families in Family Court is 7 years...

I recently conducted a survey on Twitter asking parents the amount of time they had spent in the Family Court system. I actually expected the norm to be reported was about 3 years, and sporadically a few more than that time frame. The response was astonishing and it revealed how many years, families are having to endure the Family Court system. Unlike the criminal justice system and civil business litigation, a final ruling has the potential of never being final.

In Family Court, after a final ruling is made within 2 or 3 years, depending on jurisdiction, you can take the parent back to court for a modification. Also parents can get caught up in litigation if they are trying to enforce an order. This can have them in the system for years. Now there are some parents who love to fight it out in court and for them go here, but for the most parents this not the case. Family Court is costly, time consuming, emotional and above all cold. Even though there is a general promotion by Courts of "best interest of the child" in many cases that is not the case.

I work very hard to work with parents to avoid the pitfalls of fighting things out in court for a court and its actors will not stop the fight but will allow it to freely continue on. Why you may ask because Family Court is a for-profit entity. The legal industry makes money from spouses/parents fighting it out for years within its court system and parents are left in complete demise. But many families do not realize this detriment until it is too late. I hear the following statements all the time when one parent wants to mediate and the other parent does not want to mediate:

  • , "...Well I think the only reason they want to mediate is because I will win in court and the Judge does not like them..." or

  • "...I want the court to hear my side of the story and to hear everything that I have had to endure..." and

  • "...We tried it before and he/she did not listen to me so it will never work because we just do not get along."

There are many more statements but these are the most common responses. They do not understand a Family Court ruling is not technically final, but rather can just be a temporary moment of rule for after a short timeframe you can be right back in court fighting it out again. Avoid the costly courts, and resolve your issues. I say this in strong conviction, Family Court does not want to hear your story. It is not structured to hear your story for they do not have the time to review your pleadings, hear your testimony, or most importantly "your evidence." Avoid heartache and if you can utilize alternate dispute resolution. Liz Evonne Dispute Resolution Services can assist you and your family. We are here for you, contact us: or utilize our services


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