Family Dispute Resolution: Characteristics of Cases Resolved by Trial

Family Dispute Resolution: Characteristics of Cases Resolved by Trial

Family Dispute Resolution: Characteristics of Cases Resolved by Trial

Family Dispute Resolution: Characteristics of Cases Resolved by Trials

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Référence bibliographique [22141]

Poitras, Karine, Birnbaum, Rachel, Saini, Michael, Bala, Nicholas et Cyr, Francine. 2021. «Family Dispute Resolution: Characteristics of Cases Resolved by Trial ». Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 123, p. 1-7.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
«This study specifically considers the factors associated with trials in family cases to better identify and respond to the unique needs of families who use the courts to resolve their parenting disputes. The objectives in this study are twofold: [t]o describe litigants who use the justice system to settle disputes, and the type of the dispute resolution process that they used; and, [t]o identify factors that are associated with going to trial.» (p. 2)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
«Court files were randomly selected in Montreal […] and Trois-Rivières court houses […] based on the following criteria: [t]he case was closed so the outcomes of the case was known; [t]he case was commenced October 1, 2011 or later; and [t]he case involved at least one child. In order to take a closer look at family files resulting in a trial, [authors] analyzed 100 additional files which resulted in a trial in the judicial district of Montreal. These additional files were selected in accordance with the following criteria and were not randomly selected. […] An analysis of 987 family files was undertaken in the winter of 2014/15: 499 family files from Montreal, and 488 from Trois-Rivières […]. Of the whole original random sample (n=987), 48 of the cases went to trial (approximately 5%).» (p. 2-3)

Type de traitement des données :
Réflexion critique

3. Résumé

The «study confirms anecdotal sentiments that family cases that go to trial are more likely to be fraught with interparental conflict, allegations of violence and abuse, parental interference of parent–child contact with the other parent and the presence of strained relationships. Trials are financially and emotionally taxing for families, they prolong court involvement, and increase parental conflict, which in turn exacerbates children’s adaptation to parental separation and divorce […].» (p. 4) «This study found that the use of mediation services is also a factor associated with a case going to trial. This probably reflects the fact that a majority of those who start a court application settle their cases without use of mediation or a trial, or indeed any contested court proceeding. For those who are likely to go to trial, the use of mediation services might be a preliminary step to litigation. In Quebec the use of non-court dispute resolution measures, including mediation services, are strongly encouraged even before resorting to the courts for a decision or at the start of proceedings […]. [The] results suggest that litigants who begin court proceedings and attempt mediation are more likely to have a trial than those who begin proceedings and never attend mediation. This might suggest that mediation services could be improved in order to achieve a higher settlement rate and have fewer cases go to trial.» (p. 5)