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Collaborative law, a holistic, child-centered approach that keeps couples out of court, is now offered in every state, and 23 countries, Ousky noted. Yet most divorcing couples still think their only option “is to hire someone who will be really tough. But you can protect yourself and your children better by collaborating than by getting a pit bull.”
Ousky was joined by veteran family mediator Stephen Erickson, of Erickson Mediation Institute, who suggested that skilled therapists, “bullied out of the divorce system by lawyers” be brought back into the conversation and the solution.
Also speaking was Michelle MacDonald, an attorney who said she was “called to eliminate family court altogether” through her Family Innocence Project.
On the legislative front, Olson is gearing up to fight again for a shared parenting presumption bill that Gov. Dayton vetoed at the 11th hour in 2012. He’s promised to take another look in 2014.
The most powerful testimonial of the night, though, came from a state employee who works as a custody evaluator and parenting consultant, the sorts of people being trashed. Was the film unfair?
“No,” he said. “I tend to agree that our family court system is in real trouble. Minnesota is a little better than other states, but it can happen here. Family court is not the best place to help families restructure their relationships. I’ve heard numerous judges say that. “I’m trying to limit the amount of exposure that families have to this adversarial system.”
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