Mediation in such cases typically leads to a perpetuation of the unequal dynamic that caused toxicity in the relationship in the first place.What is this lawyer talking about? Does he really think that more money for judges is going to somehow enable them to solve "circumstances that led to the divorce"? That is crazy.
What is needed is adequate financing for the judiciary and the required training of judges, whose mandate would be to provide prompt and thorough review of child-related issues on the motion of one parent or both.
Mediation, which lacks the “teeth” of enforceable judicial orders, is unlikely to have any meaningful effect. Unless parents can get prompt judicial rulings by properly trained and sensitive judges, the circumstances that led to the divorce are likely to persist.
I believe that more training for family court judges would make them worse. Some of them are so bad, and issue orders that are so contrary to common sense, that it is hard to believe that they got that stupid by themselves. They have the kind of stupidity that comes with training.
At the other extreme is this brilliant letter from Steven Vogl:
Much of the conflict in divorces results from courts’ attempting to micromanage postdivorce families in ways that would clearly be unconstitutional if attempted with other families.He is 100% correct. We need judges to stop micromanaging, not to give them money to do more micromanaging.
State legislatures and the courts need to recognize the privacy and due process rights of divorcing families to manage their own personal affairs. They should pass legislation that would establish a few models of equal parenting rights and responsibilities, for cases in which the parties cannot fashion one of their own.
Absent a substantial state interest, such as a finding of abuse or neglect, courts should not be dictating private parental choices.
The author Vogl is identified as a "former lawyer and mediator who handled divorce and family law". He probably realized that most of what divorce lawyers do is destructive, and had the good morals to quit. Not many divorce lawyers are willing to admit that.
The legislature could adopt a couple of simple boilerplate parenting plans, such as alternating child custody every a couple days, or every week, or every six months. Rear the kid would be each parent's responsibility when he or she has custody. The parents could negotiate their own plan, or if they do not agree, let the court assign a boilerplate plan. Decisions about school, diet, clothes, activities, etc. would not be the concern of the court. This change might put some court personnel out of work, but parents and kids would be a lot better off.