JordanFurlong + family   40

How and Why a Cynic of “DIY” Law Built a DIY Divorce Platform
With that information in hand, I next had to map out the user experience, which may seem elementary to developers and UX people but it was all new to me. I had to think about every aspect of what happens in the divorce process — not just the forms and procedural steps but the whole process from start to finish. When someone says they want a divorce, it requires not only thinking about living situations, custody of children, and finances but also managing the fear, anger, pain, and sadness that go along with those big life changes. It was crucial to account for the emotional aspects of the process in the user experience.
newlaw  family  access  innovation  startup 
may 2019 by JordanFurlong
Designing rules of procedure for the arbitration of family law disputes – Slaw
As a result, in many jurisdictions lawyers taking a case to arbitration simply adopt the local rules of court. This makes sense, as anyone who litigates will be intimately familiar with those rules, and some jurisdictions, again like British Columbia, have rules of court written just for family law disputes. However, it’s not necessarily the best solution, as adopting the rules of court by default, or by reflex, robs parties of one of the key benefits of arbitration: the ability to shape and customize the arbitration process to suit their needs, their dispute and their finances. Moreover, while most Canadian superior court rules begin with an admonition that the rules are to be interpreted so as to provide the parties with an inexpensive and speedy resolution of their dispute, using a level of process that is proportionate to the complexity and importance of the issues in dispute, precious few actually give substance to the idea. Using the rules of court generally means using all of the rules of court, and that comes with costs and delays that may be avoidable.
family  arbitration  odr 
december 2018 by JordanFurlong
Paralegals in family law | Canadian Lawyer Mag
In addition, the regulator’s governing body endorsed a plan to study what other services should come under a further expanded licence, including the possibility of courtroom advocacy by paralegals, as part of its response to the Family Legal Services Review by former Ontario Court Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo.

“One of the reasons I started this campaign was because I kept getting calls from litigants looking for services at a lower price, so I’m excited that we’re finally going to get access to justice for people with family law problems who can’t afford a lawyer,” says Yarmus, who runs Toronto-based Civil Litigations Paralegal Services.

“This time it’s actually going to happen. The law society and the attorney general are determined to implement this, and people will at last have a choice of legal service provider,” he adds.

Although he hasn’t yet decided whether to personally train up in family law once the new licence is available, Yarmus says he supports the move to mandate extra requirements before paralegals can begin practising in the area.

“Education is very important. We don’t want anyone who’s unqualified to be doing it,” he says.

But as paralegals inch toward regulated family law practice, a group of familiar foes stands in their way: the family law bar. Many lawyers in the area argue that anything short of a law degree is inadequate preparation for the complexities of family law.

Orillia, Ont. lawyer Fay McFarlane says the law society is making a mistake by giving paralegals an entryway to family law.

“It may be disastrous. Even us, as family law practitioners, have issues sometimes dealing with clients and their emotions,” she says. “I don’t think paralegals can handle it.

“If they had the training that lawyers have, maybe they could, but that’s why we’re lawyers,” McFarlane adds.

“Family law is complicated enough, but I don’t know how you can solve the problems associated with that by lowering the standards for people to be able to practise,” says David Harris-Lowe, president of the Simcoe County Law Association and partner at Barrie, Ont. firm Barriston Resolution Services.

He says the LSO proposal won’t directly affect him because his family law clients are unlikely to consider hiring paralegals even if they had the option.
family  access  paraprofessionals  innovation  courts 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
An Administrative Model of Family Law Dispute Resolution – Slaw
The time has come, in my view, to experiment with an administrative approach to family law. I suggest that an administrative family services agency be established as a pilot project in a smaller centre, such as Lethbridge, Barrie or Kelowna, for a few practical reasons.

Family law disputes are both commonplace and highly demanding of court time. According to a recent Juristat article, while only 34% of civil cases concern family law matters, these cases account for 56% of civil judgments and 61% of civil hearings.
Self-representation is more common in family law matters than in other civil disputes. In some jurisdictions the rate of self-representation is as high as 80%, and the numbers continue to climb. According to studies by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, in 2016, a party was self-represented in a fifth of the cases of family law lawyers and in more than two-fifths of judges’ cases, and more than three-quarters of lawyers and judges attending the 2014 National Family Law Program believed that the number of self-represented litigants had increased over the previous three years.
Family law is complex and highly fact-specific, and involves the application of common law and equitable principles, a host of case authorities, as well as legislation. Family law disputes often involve other areas of the law, including criminal law, child protection, tax law, the law of property, the law of contracts and torts, bankruptcy law, creditors’ remedies and company law. Family law disputes also involve difficult psychosocial concerns that are intangible, sometimes intractable, and always difficult to manage in the court system.
Implementing a scalable, evaluable pilot project in a smaller centre would, I think, use fewer resources, be easier to organize and adapt, and facilitate public engagement. It could also test other proposals intended to improve access to family justice, including triage processes and early neutral evaluation processes.
An integrated family services agency
family  access  admin  innovation  courts 
april 2018 by JordanFurlong
ABS update: Gordon Dadds acquires first law firm post-float, Co-op launches divorce platform, will writers go under - Legal Futures
Co-operative Legal Services (CLS) has launched an online platform for uncontested divorces with solicitor support, saying that often clients “don’t see the need for face-to-face interviews, and they’re looking for speed”.

Instead of sending an email to CLS, and being called back at any point during the working day, those using the new system will be able to book a particular time slot with a solicitor.

They have first to complete various questions online designed to ensure that they actually want a divorce, and also gather personal details needed to populate the divorce petition.

It costs from £600 plus court fees.
clementi  family  access 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
Innovation in family law firms in Canada. This article develops in the form of a survey of empirical data and scholarship on Canadian family law. Part 1 explains how and why legal issues arise from the dissolution of intimate relationships. This Part draws up on civil legal requirements surveys, surveys with lawyers, and data from interviews with litigants. The focus shifts to family law firms (Part 2), using new empirical data about the Canadian lawyers who do this work. Innovative fee structure: (i) innovative fee structure; (ii) innovative service variety; and (iii) innovative division of labor. A third revolution in Canadian Family Law. Part III. Our family law doctrine was revolutionized beginning in the 1960s, and alternative dispute resolution was similarly transfigured beginning in the 1980s. It is now time to a third revolution, in family law practice accessibility, to bring the benefits of family justice to all Canadians who need them.


Innovation in family law law firms can make concrete improvements to access to justice in Canada. This is what the author argues in this article, based on empirical data and research on Canadian family law. In the first part, he explains how the legal needs of separating and divorced parties are born, and why it is so difficult to meet those needs. This section is based on investigations of legal needs in civil matters, surveys of lawyers, and data from interviews with litigants. In the second part, the focus is on specialized family law firms (including solicitors who work alone), and this time, the author draws new empirical evidence about Canadian lawyers practicing in this field. Opportunities for innovation that can increase accessibility in the area of ​​family law are identified in three areas: (i) the fee structure; (ii) the range of services; (iii) the distribution of labor. A "third revolution" in Canadian family law is proposed in this section. Our doctrine in this area has been revolutionized since the 1960s, and the alternative mode of dispute resolution in family matters has also been transfigured since the 1980s. Now is the time to foment a third revolution, aimed at times the accessibility of the practice in family law,
family  innovation  access  courts 
january 2018 by JordanFurlong
The Rechtwijzer Rides Again | Law, Technology and Access to Justice
The new product goes by its Dutch name: It is produced by what is effectively a tech startup company, justice42 (that is justice for two – geddit? Plus, it turns out that the founders are familiar with the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). Shareholders include the Belgian and Dutch social impact funds bankrolling the project and The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law which hold two  originally developed the Rechtwijzer. Enough funding has been provided for three to four years of development. The fund eventually want their money back but, even more, they want to see measurable social impact. The consequent target entails persuading 5 to 10 per cent of divorcing partners to use the platform.

Compared with most startups, justice42 is in a favourable position. It has inherited a project that has attracted international acclaim and high satisfaction ratings from its admittedly too few users. In its two years of operation, 2500 people used the old system, with 900 going all the way to divorce. Thus, there has been pretty good proof of concept. The Legal Aid Board, which was invested heavily in terms of both staff time and money, has been content to allow the new administration to administer the legal aid that subsidises low income users. Otherwise, the basic cost is 425 euros per party.

The website takes the user through the same stages from free intake and assessment to the production of an agreement for lawyer approval and then forwarding to a judge for the final court consent. You pay a fixed price for additional elements like arbitration and mediation. The new site only opened for business on 8 September and, rather charmingly, a board in the company’s offices is charting referrals on a daily basis. Some of the early trade came from those whose progress on the Rechtwijzer was interrupted by its demise. Already eight couples have made it to the end but the project has yet really to get into its stride.
odr  innovation  access  family 
december 2017 by JordanFurlong
Canadian Bar Association - The Canadian Bar Association
It is intended to increase family lawyers’ awareness of the best available information to better assist parents in transforming their relationship from being a couple to being successful co-parents. As the first point of contact for many separating parents, effective lawyers need to be aware of the best practices and social science on family restructuring, and should be equipped to easily direct parents to quality resources for further guidance and information. 
family  access 
december 2017 by JordanFurlong
U of C’s Aspire Legal Access Initiative offers a new model for family law self-reps | Canadian Lawyer Mag
Besides providing innovative legal services to self-represented litigants with the support of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law through funding and articling students, Kyla Sandwith, executive director of the program, says the initiative will provide data and education to the Alberta bar on “what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”

“We want to show we can be self-sustaining, that we can generate an income through this model because I think there are a lot of barriers to change in the profession and one is the idea that you can’t make a living doing it this way or doing it any other way than the traditional billable hour.”

Sandwith has no family law background, but as U of C law dean Ian Holloway wrote recently for Canadian Lawyer, she had other attributes, among them “an innovation mindset and experience at system design.”

“Most of my career has been spent looking at how we operate our law firms, how we govern ourselves as a profession,” Sandwith says. “A lot of my education and my work has centred around finding better ways to do what we’ve been doing for years.”
access  family  schools  innovation 
november 2017 by JordanFurlong
Family law could bypass judges in plan being trialled by government
he pilot dispute-resolution project, which will involve parents appearing before multi­disciplinary panels without legal representation, is aimed at providing a quicker and less complex alternative to the courts, and will have input from experts other than lawyers.

Psychologists, social workers, paediatricians and drug and ­alcohol specialists could be among the non-lawyer members of the panels, which will have one or more members.

The $12.7 million trial, which will begin in Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, and another location yet to be announced, comes as the government embarks on a broad family law system review.

The Australian Law Reform Commission review will include an examination of whether the current adversarial system is the best way to protect children, and of overlaps between the federal courts and state child protection system.
family  access  innovation  nonlawyer 
october 2017 by JordanFurlong
Slave to the algorithm | Feature | Law Society Gazette
Milos Kresojevic, information architect at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, reminded ICAIL that legal AI must address the needs of the practice and its clients and that there was a danger of firms focusing on the much-hyped technology rather than its practical results. He outlined how Freshfields links together a portfolio of commercial AI products – including Kira Systems and Neota – to create bespoke solutions that can then be productised to differentiate the firm’s services. As he explained later, however, differentiation involves significant effort. Freshfields’ real estate transaction team in Germany has trained Kira to recognise over 1,000 German language documents, thereby retraining the technology to create a unique Freshfields version of Kira whose output interfaces with German AI-powered data extraction engine Leverton. Freshfields is currently training Kira to work in more languages. ‘Applying AI solutions in multiple jurisdictions increases the firm’s reach and its ability to handle more complex work,’ explains Kresojevic. However, he is frustrated by the lack of an end-to-end legal AI offering. While there are multiple products for document comparison and data extraction, the end result is an Excel spreadsheet or a PDF document! Firms such as Freshfields are using legal engineers: to bring together a smart portfolio of AI products into an end-to-end solution that delivers the firm’s business strategy and extends its competitive advantage. Kresojevic believes that the firms that are building complete solutions will continue to disrupt the market.

Disruption with a social purpose

A similar strategy, with a very different objective, is disrupting the opposite end of the legal services spectrum. Alan Larkin, director at Family Law Partners in Brighton, has used intelligent technology to respond to government cuts in family legal services and the subsequent increase in the number of litigants in person.

According to the SRA, a third of people consider legal services to be inaccessible. Consequently, vulnerable people are being dragged through the family courts, at considerable cost to the courts service and further damage to the families involved. ‘They are missing the early intervention which lawyers used to bring, when public funding was available,’ Larkin says. ‘I understand the rationale behind proposals for an online court, but by the time cases reach court, the damage is already done. If local authorities developed an online portal where people could access advice, some of them could be directed to mediation and potentially avoid court altogether.’

However, there is a distinct lack of online resources for people seeking advice on family break-ups, the division of assets, child maintenance and so on.
robo  data  analytics  access  family  innovation  it 
july 2017 by JordanFurlong
Exclusive: Online divorce business acquires family law firm - Legal Futures
Online Legal Services Ltd (OLS) – the company that runs the pioneering Divorce-Online website – has acquired south Wales family law firm Peter Thomas Law, Legal Futures can reveal.

It will enable Divorce-Online to capture the work arising from more complex divorces that is currently outsourced to other solicitors while it deals with uncontested splits.

OLS has worked with Peter Thomas Law for some time, with the lawyers handling a lot of consent order work. The firm became an alternative business structure (ABS) in October 2016 with OLS taking a minority stake, but it has now taken 100% ownership and its name will shortly change to OLS Solicitors.

The eponymous Peter Thomas will continue as head of legal practice and of finance and administration.

A new office will open in Swindon, where OLS is based, and recruitment has already begun. The two businesses combined have 22 staff.

The firm will operate on a fixed-fee menu where possible, offer an internet portal to allow clients track progress of their cases, and use apps, text messaging and other messaging platforms.
family  access  innovation  clementi 
june 2017 by JordanFurlong
Five years on from its ABS licence, Co-operative Legal Services sees income and profits jump - Legal Futures
egal services revenues rose from £18m to £22m in 2016, “lifted mainly by more people coming to us for estate planning services, as well as our acquisition of Collective Legal Solutions (now known as Co-op Estate Planning)”, the group’s annual results announcement recorded. In 2012, it was £33m.

Operating profits went from £700,000 in 2015 to £2.2m last year, although the accounts have been restated to show zero profit to £1.5m to reflect that the £700,000, and the same amount this year, was put towards shared group membership services. In 2014, CLS recorded a loss of £5m. Profits in 2012 were minimal with the business investing for growth.

The announcement said: “We believe in providing legal services that are easy to access, giving fast and effective legal support at prices that are great value for money. In 2016, we invested in being able to take will, probate and conveyancing instructions online. Our members and clients gave us a vote of confidence and we’ll develop more new services in 2017…
clementi  wills  access  family  competition 
april 2017 by JordanFurlong
Sometimes Legal Aid is the Problem, Not the Solution – Slaw
Not only is legal aid sometimes the problem, but there are times that the fixation on legal aid increases blinds the bar to the alternatives that might be available. Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) released a February 2016 report following a lengthy Family Reform Community Collaboration that I participated in, which envisioned a better approach to family law disputes through the use of early screening and triage to appropriate resources. Central to this approach was independence of the legal aid system entirely,
family  courts  access  innovation 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Report Calls for Paralegals in Family Law; Expanded Scope Possible | Paralegal Scope Magazine
Ontario paralegals who earn a “specialized licence in family law” should provide limited legal services in family matters. This is in the best interests of the public. So says Justice Annemarie Bonkalo, in a long-awaited report.
access  family  paraprofessionals 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Report anticipated to impact family law bar
The provincial government and Law Society of Upper Canada are commissioning the report, which is expected to be public soon. Bonkalo has been mandated to determine whether paralegals, law clerks and students should be allowed to handle certain matters in family law in the hopes of boosting access to justice.

In 2014-15, more than 57 per cent of Ontarians who engaged in matters in family court did not have legal representation, according to the provincial government.

Ras says the government should let other reforms such as bringing the whole province under a unified family court and expanding limited-scope retainers play out before even considering a widening of the scope of family law. Of particular concern to FOLA are the lawyers in small communities whose practices can include 20 to 25 per cent family law.

“If suddenly there is competition in town that is providing that same or similar level of service, maybe not to the full scope of what a lawyer can do but close, for lower rates, the economic logic suggests that the lawyer would just find other things to do,” says Ras. “So, instead of increasing access to justice, you would have one less lawyer doing family law or providing that service.”

Family lawyers question whether paralegals will be able to provide the same service, in what is considered a complex area of law, if the report recommends this.
family  access  paraprofessionals 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Family law firms finding ways to help clients afford their services - Legal Futures
Researchers found that 85% of firms offered unbundled services and 88% fixed fees. The most popular solution to help customers having difficulty paying for legal support was agreeing a (typically monthly) payment plan (93%). But the plans tended to be at the discretion of individual solicitors rather than a firm-wide strategy.

Although over a quarter of the consumers surveyed availed themselves of unbundled services – such as self-representation in court while the solicitor conducted the initial part of the case, including negotiating with the other party, and preparing documents or filing proceedings – firms themselves pointed to problems with unbundling in a family law context.

Some four in five firms said unbundling caused problems for cases and just over half said it caused issues for the firm. Many felt it was risky as there was potentially nobody with legal expertise having an overview of the case. However, firms that had successfully provided unbundling were more positive about its benefits.

Just under two-thirds of consumers in the survey (64%) said their solicitor’s costs were affordable. But the researchers stressed the high stakes nature of family law as a reason underlying this finding.

While 84% were able to find the money to pay their solicitor and 85% said cost was not a hindrance to the continuation of their case, almost half regarded the bill as more than they expected.
family  unbundling  pricing  access 
march 2017 by JordanFurlong
Divorce app pioneers replace solicitors with ‘divorce coaches’ - Legal Futures
The app was launched earlier this year with the aim of helping people reach an amicable divorce, save on legal fees, divide assets and make arrangements for children.

Kate Daly, divorce counsellor and co-founder of Amicable Apps, told Legal Futures that testing of the beta version of the app revealed a demand for “hand-holding” from users.

“People used the app to work through the decisions they needed to take as part of their divorce,” she said. “They often don’t realise that this involves thinking about holidays, birthdays or pensions.

“They said it was very helpful to have the app, which was easy to use. Then they said: ‘Now what do we do?’

“We could have told them to print off the information and take it to a lawyer, or do the divorce themselves using the government website, but it just didn’t feel right. They were asking us to do it for them.
family  competition  access  it 
november 2016 by JordanFurlong
Mitch Kowalski: University of Calgary warms up Canada’s first family law incubator | Financial Post
Situated at the University of Calgary’s campus building in the Downtown West End, and just steps from the C Train, the incubator will also act as a pilot project that, once successful, can be implemented in other cities across Alberta or even Canada. The new 2,000-square-foot open-concept office will run wireless and cloud-based systems and provide four articling jobs for law graduates.

In the second year of operation, there will be room to employ four first-year lawyers. Detailed curriculum and workflows will ensure that students and staff undertake files in a consistent, structured and disciplined manner. Most uniquely, the articling students and new lawyers will also be trained in the business aspects of law.

“We’re going to create a new breed of reasonably priced lawyers who will drive further innovation in the delivery of family legal services,” Young said. The incubator will operate in a mobile, paperless environment that will take advantage of all available technologies, he said. There’s a shortage of family law lawyers in Alberta, but no shortage of qualified interested students, he said. “It’s not going to be for everyone. But it’ll be exciting for those who choose to do it and it’ll give them more disciplined, consistent and structured training.”
articling  incubator  family  access  training 
november 2016 by JordanFurlong
Online divorce and probate set for early 2017, Munby says - Legal Futures
Online divorce and probate are set to be delivered under the courts modernisation programme by early 2017, the president of the Family Division has said.

Addressing the Family Law Bar Association, Sir James Munby also called on barristers to adopt new working practices, including direct access, unbundling and fixed fees.

Sir James said that, in the future, proceedings would begin in many cases with a lay person filling in a questionnaire.
odr  family  innovation  access 
march 2016 by JordanFurlong
Less stressful divorce for the digital age | Gazette | University of Ottawa
Local legal data analytics company Miralaw has launched Thistoo, an application designed to streamline divorce in Ontario so separating couples can focus on the important emotional side of things. The idea behind Thistoo – “your personal divorce assistant” -- is to help people avoid the extra stress and high cost of taking their case to court.

Telfer MBA student John Lachapelle recently started an eight-month internship with the company. His role includes marketing the application to the public, and ensuring it is user-friendly. He writes blog posts that raise awareness of the app and help to simplify the technical aspects. He has also written the script for a promotional video.

“Obviously the world of law is very confusing,” he says, “but we can cut through that with data.”

The app draws on data from 58,000 publicly available court cases to help separating couples understand how their divorce is likely to resolve, and to navigate the legal labyrinth. Clients enter factors such as length of marriage; number and age of any children; and how any assets changed over the course of the relationship. The app then calculates the possible child support and alimony payments, and can help draft a separation agreement.
startups  newlaw  family 
february 2016 by JordanFurlong
MAG, LSUC launch family law review
The ministry and LSUC announced Feb. 9 that Annemarie Bonkalo, the former chief justice of the Ontario Court of Justice and now a part-time judge, has been appointed to lead a family law review to address the lack of legal representation in family court.
family  access  competition 
february 2016 by JordanFurlong
Newsroom : Province Seeking Feedback To Make Family Legal Services More Accessible
Family law includes divorce and separation, child custody and access, and child support. Currently, only lawyers are permitted to provide legal services in family law cases and this can lead to litigants choosing to represent themselves. In 2014-15, over 57 per cent of Ontarians did not have legal representation in family court.

As part of Ontario's work to improve access to justice for families, the Honourable Justice Annemarie E. Bonkalo will lead a review to consider whether a broader range of legal services providers, such as paralegals, law clerks and students, should be allowed to handle certain family law matters. Justice Bonkalo will also ask for input on what types of legal services, if handled by a broader range of legal service providers, could improve the family law system and how alternative service providers could be held accountable.

The public is invited to provide comments on the consultation document by April 30, 2016.
family  access  competition  innovation  regulation 
february 2016 by JordanFurlong
Of Family Law Flowcharts and Guided Pathways – Slaw
Make a separation plan,
get a family order, and
respond to a court document being served.
The LSS defines a “guided pathway” as a tool on a site that ends with an action plan tailored to the user’s need.
This might be quite similar to another online tool for Ontario users. Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) calls their tool “Steps in a Family Law Case“, which is a series of “flowcharts”. Jane Withey, CLEO’s Director Clinic Operations, recently reached out to send me the press release and also tell me a little more about it:
family  access  process 
december 2015 by JordanFurlong
New beginnings in technology for justice | Insights | HiiL
The Rechtwijzer team is growing, so we can keep up this high pace of innovation. Talented new colleagues continue to join our team. They work with some of the best software engineers and user experience designers. We recently built the organisational structure behind Rechtwijzer that helps us with bringing additional resources and staff, which I am honoured to lead.
odr  family  innovation  access 
september 2015 by JordanFurlong
Family Justice 3.7: Concluding Remarks – Slaw
I have, to the relief of many, exhausted my ability to devise alternate means of dealing with family justice issues. I could write more explicitly about therapeutic justice, I suppose, or perhaps provide a sketch of what a triaged entry to the justice system might look like, but these ideas have been talked and written about extensively. I doubt I have anything useful to add.
access  family  innovation 
april 2015 by JordanFurlong
Exclusive: The Family Law Café opens for business
An online family law service that uses barristers to triage a client’s requirements and connect them with the experts needed to assist – whether they are barristers, solicitors, mediators, financial advisers, arbitrators, collaborative lawyers or therapists – has gone live this week.
access  family  innovation 
march 2015 by JordanFurlong
Towards an Online Family Dispute Resolution Service in Australia | Research Repository | Victoria University | Melbourne Australia
Because the number of family disputes overshadows other dispute types, there are exciting possibilities to extend the reach, scope and resources of such services through use of technologies and decision support systems. Such platforms provide the opportunity to support disputants in their negotiations. This chapter takes both a historical and predictive approach to family dispute resolution.
odr  family  access 
march 2015 by JordanFurlong
Family Justice 3.0: A Settlement-Oriented, Lawyer-Facilitated Hybrid Approach – Slaw
In this model, a lawyer acting as amicus guides the parties through a process aimed at finding settlement but concluding with trial if settlement cannot be reached. The lawyer, who must be exempt of the usual conflict rules, provides the parties with evaluative advice throughout, including as to the merits of each party’s position and the providence of each settlement proposal. The model also suggests a hybrid process in which the steps leading to resolution rely on computer-based determinations of support and asset division and the recommendations of a neutral counsellor or psychologist for the children’s parenting arrangements. Ultimately, the parties, and the judge at trial, may adopt or reject the counsellor’s recommendations and the financial calculations produced by software; they are however proposed to add an element of objectivity and impetuses to settlement dissociated from one party’s animus to the other.
family  access  innovation 
february 2015 by JordanFurlong
“Divorce Hotel” to Cross the Pond from Europe | IAALS Online
A Netherlands company is headed to New York to establish a “divorce hotel.” Couples with uncomplicated divorces can spend a weekend at the hotel to work through the process quickly with mediators and independent lawyers, with the goal of emerging with documentation that a judge can make final. The company has successfully helped 16 of the 17 couples it worked with in Europe, and hopes to find similar results in America.
adr  family  access  innovation 
october 2014 by JordanFurlong
ODR in family law | Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
The best systems are those which enable access to a variety of external services – it’s very rare that family clients present with just one issue and more often than not their affairs are more complex than initially appears. Sometimes, as lawyers, we have to take time to get clients to reveal everything to us when we have built up trust – and I just wonder whether clients will do that online so readily. And unless those matters come out then they can’t access the additional help they might need to get a fair and lasting outcome.
odr  access  family 
september 2014 by JordanFurlong
IAALS on Its Out-of-Court Model for Divorcing Families | IAALS Online
Law Week Colorado recently published an article highlighting the Honoring Families Initiative model for out-of-court resolution of divorce and separation, and custody matters, which is currently being piloted at the University of Denver’s Resource Center for Separating and Divorcing Families. The Resource Center, which opened in September of last year, provides interdisciplinary services to families, including: legal education, dispute resolution, therapeutic, and financial planning services.
innovation  access  adr  courts  family 
august 2014 by JordanFurlong
Couples should be able to divorce without going to court, says top judge | Law | The Guardian
Couples agreeing to divorce by consent should be able to arrange their own separations with a trip to the registrar rather than having to go to court, the most senior family judge in England and Wales says.

Calling for radical streamlining of matrimonial law, Sir James Munby, president of the high court's family division, also urged ministers to give unmarried couples living together the same rights as married couples, warning that some women are being "thrown on the scrapheap" without any financial support if their relationship ends.

In a speech on Tuesday Munby said divorce proceedings should be split from the process of dividing up assets, allowing for less painful and quicker separations. "Has the time not come to legislate to remove all concepts of fault as a basis for divorce and to leave irretrievable breakdown as the sole ground?" he asked.
innovation  courts  access  family 
may 2014 by JordanFurlong
San Diego Superior Court to Offer ‘One Day Divorce’ Option | NBC 7 San Diego
Filing for divorce can be a lengthy process, but a new program set to begin Saturday at the San Diego Superior Court is promising to help eligible ex-couples complete a simple divorce in only one day.

The “One Day Divorce” pilot program officially goes live Mar. 1 at San Diego’s Downtown Family Court.

According to the San Diego Superior Court, the program is available to litigants who do not have attorneys and represent themselves in court. They must also have no contested issues surrounding their divorce.
family  innovation  access 
march 2014 by JordanFurlong
LEGAL FUTURES Pioneering online dispute resolution service launches divorce package » LEGAL FUTURES
A groundbreaking online dispute resolution (ODR) service is gearing up for live trials of its expanded 2.0 version, which will initially offer an end-to-end legal support package for divorcing couples.
odr  access  family 
march 2014 by JordanFurlong
New Site Helps Divide Property in Divorce · Robert Ambrogi's LawSites Robert Ambrogi's LawSites
A Minnesota lawyer and mediator has launched a website that aims to help divorcing parties divide their marital property, without the need for a lawyer. Called CleanSplit, the site uses an automated, sealed-bid process to allow couples to value and divide their property equitably.
innovation  family  competition 
january 2014 by JordanFurlong
LEGAL FUTURES Exclusive: US tech business bidding to re-engineer divorce process targets UK expansion » LEGAL FUTURES
A US company looking to re-engineer the divorce process through an innovative technology platform and process has laid out its plans to come to the UK, Legal Futures can reveal.
family  innovation  clementi  it 
december 2013 by JordanFurlong
The Next Frontier of Technology: Making Divorce Easier - Digits - WSJ
e is an existing system for those families that just need to fight it out. It’s called the court system. We’re providing an amicable solution for those that want one. We’ve run 110 families through our model and they’ve all resolved out of court. The technology becomes like a project management and it’s added such efficiency that it’s saving 60% of a lawyer focusing on case management. That gives the professionals more time to help the family through those stickier issues.

You’re minimizing those divorce explosions that sometimes happen. We are high-tech so we can be high-touch. The technology component holds all the methodology in a very step-by-step process that’s really built on those common predictable emotional factors. We’ve been able to identify 18 archetypal patterns.

WSJ: What kinds of archetypes?

MC: In most families, there’s a money manager and a non-money-manager. Yet in the existing system, everyone’s expected to manage money. But in most marriages note everyone is expected to do that job, it’s a chore that’s split up. There’s a fear from the non-money-manager that we assess and put to rest right away.

One of the other archetypes is the difference between genders. Men and women process information differently. Sixty-five percent of divorces are filed by women, and women communicate really differently. Men like to do lists and they will do it very directly. Women like to do it very indirectly and assume the husband does know what they are thinking. It really helps them if you give them a to-do list.

WSJ: How much does your service charge?

MC: The typical divorce costs $27,000. Our typical fee is $7,500, though we range from $3,500 to $15,000.

WSJ: So what’s your background?

Jeff Reynolds: Michelle (Crosby) practiced family law for 13 years. She basically built a career in a big law firm. She had one of these experiences where she was on the partner track and on the eve of being accepted as a partner she decided she wanted to focus on family. She left to start her own law firm and started developing what became Wevorce.
family  innovation  access  competition 
april 2013 by JordanFurlong

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