About Family Court Services
For over 20 years, Family Court Services (FCS) has assisted parents and children caught in the web of the Family Court System in Miami’s 11th judicial circuit. It is the only Court in the US with an in-house unit of this kind providing services to families facing divorce or high conflict custody cases. Only 10 – 15% of Family Division cases are high conflict however these cases take up to 80% of judiciary time and resources. The Unit assists judges and magistrates with some of the Court’s most difficult family cases by providing solution-focused therapeutic interventions. These services help with some of the Court’s most difficult cases, reducing case delays and court loads while facilitating the unique needs of parents and their children.
Family Court Services provides:
• Court-ordered intervention to address issues such as crisis resolution, co-parenting, time-sharing, supervised parenting time, parenting coordination, marital reconciliation, social investigation, and community referrals.
• Clinical observations between parent and child(ren).
• Comfortable and congenial settings with the opportunity and encouragement to cooperate rather than fight.
• Essential, multi-lingual services and support at no cost to families.
• The only support network accessible to many low-income families.
• The only option for therapeutic justice for many low-income families.
Why Family Court Services is so important.
Without the support of Family Court Services many low-income parents in Miami-Dade County would have no one to turn to when they are unable to focus on their children’s needs due to their own turmoil and legal process. Studies show that the best predictor of children’s adjustment to divorce, separation, or other family proceedings is the degree of conflict between their parents. A protracted and antagonistic legal dispute can have a very negative impact on the children involved. This dynamic often leads to poor academic performance and peer relationships, substance abuse, pregnancy, and even suicide.
Family Court Services is staffed with dedicated professionals who are committed to helping families reduce their level of conflict and provide supportive services for the entire family system with particular sensitivity to children. They also provide an extensive referral program for families by connecting them to community providers for court-ordered services. These services are a lifeline to many low-income families who have no other support network. Without this support the most vulnerable kids who are caught up in situations beyond their control would be failed by the system, creating much more damage to their lives and our communities.
Family Court Services Mission
The coordination of supportive services to families in response to judicial orders to promote the resolution of family conflicts and thereby reduce the number of judicial hearings. Through a process that focuses upon solutions rather than conflicts, parents most often reach understandings and resolve issues together. Support is given to the family system with particular sensitivity to children.