Family Law Arbitration - by Dale E. Johnson

This is the time of year when new family law legislation gets introduced into the Colorado legislature.  A proposed bill to provide a simplified family law court system for cases where the total assets do not exceed a certain level appears to be gaining support.  Cases diverted to this system could not have children’s issues but with limited assets and income, a simplified court system would be a benefit to a large number of Coloradoans.  A version of the Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act might also be introduced this year.  Family law arbitration typically relies on simplified procedures to save costs and expedite getting decisions.  This bill would formalize what has, up to now, been a somewhat loose procedure.  And apparently a Boulder legislator is expected to introduce a bill prohibiting CFI’s or PRE’s from making parental responsibilities recommendations.  Such a bill would be highly controversial since one of the chief reasons for CFI’s and PRE’s is to help the court fashion parenting time orders.  Without such recommendations, courts might have to spend significantly more time on these issues with each case or else fall back on “one size fits all” formulas that might not be best for individual cases.