State courts hear 98% of all civil matters—equivalent to roughly 20 million cases per year. Many of these civil matters have a significant impact on families. While it’s easy to see courts as inherently and inevitably complex—or even irretrievably broken—legislatures have the authority to intervene and improve civil court processes.
This series of publications addresses challenges and opportunities for state legislatures seeking to make civil courts more family-friendly. In simple terms, family-friendly courts operate with a high degree of sensitivity to the experiences of the vulnerable families they serve.