Understanding the Flaws of Family Court
24 January 2022 | 8:11 pm

Guest Blog by Darrel Riley:

The problem with family court is easy to understand.

Criminal court has executive, legislative and judicial oversight. A criminal court judge passes responsibility from the judicial branch to the executive branch via a sentence. The amount of data available on 'prisoners' provided to the executive and legislators is impressive. Criminal court oversight can be done in the judiciary as well since there are appeals as well as judicial research.

In contrast to criminal court, family court has no legislative oversight, no executive oversight and little to no reports to the executive and legislators other than budget increases. The executive branch is not involved with family court appeals so there are no regular government reports that evaluate appeals court decisions.

There are no regular reports on how many custody transfers have occurred.

There are no reliable ways of finding out parents monetary penalties.

There are no reports to find out whether parents are being prohibited from contact with a child and if so what the reasons are.

There are no reports on how many people are in jail because of family court decisions, therefore no way of knowing how jail costs relate to family court decisions.

One solution: The simplest solution for family court is that judicial orders should be governed by the same limitations given to state agencies for custodial and financial issues so that judges decisions are consistent with established state's interests for families and children.

It makes no sense for children that are subject to family court orders have fewer legal rights than children under the control of state agencies when children under family court orders remain the responsibility of executive branch enforcement (i.e. police, Child Protective Services, public defenders, domestic violence shelters, etc).

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