Designing a System for the Online Resolution of Cross-Border Custody Disputes - WAMR 2018 Vol. 12, No. 1
Janet Martinez is Director at the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution, Stanford Law School.
Colin Rule is Vice-President of Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies.
Susan M. Yates is Executive Director, at the Resolution Systems Institute.
Originally from World Arbitration and Mediation Review
Resolving disputes around custody and co-parenting when the two parents are in different countries can be quite challenging. Fortunately, technology can help to bridge the gap and provide effective options for managing and resolving cross-border family disputes. In this paper, the authors introduce some of the concepts from the emerging field of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), and present a framework for Dispute System Design (DSD) to envision how such an online system could operate. The authors then provide a detailed walkthrough of a sample ODR system for building co-parenting agreements, and evaluate it using the DSD framework.
As any experienced dispute resolver will tell you, family disputes are an example of what can be the most complex type of dispute to resolve. Since the parties know each other with such intimacy, and because there is such an extensive shared history, resolving family disputes is often far more emotional, involved, and complex than dealing with more transactional disagreements between strangers or professional colleagues.
Family disputes, though, become even more complicated when the parents are in two different countries. Negotiating co-parenting and custody may be difficult when the parents are located in the same city, but when parents reside in different countries—each with different laws around parental rights, parenting time, and child support—reaching an agreement becomes much more challenging. Cross-border disputes introduce knotty complexities around accessibility including scheduling, physical location, language, information, and counsel–plus broad issues of culture and trust.