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University of Baltimore Law Forum

Abstract

During one of the snowstorms in the winter of 2016, I sat before the fireplace and read Divorced from Reality: Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution, by Jane C. Murphy and Jana B. Singer. Because I know the authors and their wealth of experience in family law, as well as their sincere interest in improving the effectiveness of the family law court, I was delighted when asked to share my opinion of the book. As a Family Magistrate in a high volume court, it never ceases to amaze me of the variety of issues the court is confronted with on a daily basis. While Maryland's five larger circuit courts have in place a "Family Division" to respond to the needs of its litigant pool, there is always room to advance how the court administers family law cases. Given the amount of recidivism and the fact that the court is often the first place families go to settle their disputes, the court is sensitive to new approaches to address the issues that arise in family law cases. It is for this reason that I found Divorced from Reality: Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution an eye-opening reflection of how the court has resolved family disputes in the past, how they are doing so currently, and the host of possibilities to consider when creating a family court for the future.

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