Family court: An analysis of a unified judicial system to serve the administration of justice for all juvenile and family matters

Lori Ann Higdon, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Several states have created family courts by coordinating juvenile and family law matters within one court in an effort to provide efficient and timely service delivery to children and families. This thesis will evaluate this court model by providing a literary review, including problems facing children and families. Ethical concerns regarding family preservation, the quality of justice, parent's rights vs states obligations, punishment vs rehabilitation and the social worker vs cop role conflict will be included. A survey which was conducted as a part of this thesis together with a previous survey provides current evidence supporting the premise that the new family court model is a more efficient system which provides better services to litigants by involving a teamwork approach, better utilization of community resources, and the development of alterative resolutions. The conclusion contains recommendations for improvements of this model.