Enlightened Family Justice Institute (EFJI) is a Texas non-profit corporation. It is qualified under Internal Revenue Code, sec. 501(c)(3) as a tax-exempt charitable and educational organization. For more information go to: EFJI.ORG
EFJI seeks to transform the family court justice system. The intention is to shift court proceedings from “adversarial” (a warfare model) to “cooperative-therapeutic” (a peace-making model). The idea is that with the right type of help, the people with the conflict are the ones best suited to find a solution that works for all. The key is to find the “right kind” of help. See “Conflict Resolution Strategy Planning” menu.
Conflict within families is a normal part of life. Many family conflicts are resolved without “outsiders” stepping in. Sometimes the conflicts become intense. Strong negative feels are triggered. Talking things through becomes difficult or impossible. In some serious situations, people stop talking with each other (the “silent” treatment or withdrawal and isolation). Other times, the verbal fights are frequent and even turn into shouting matches. Sometimes there is family violence Lots of smoke and fire, but not much light.
When a relationship suffers a serious break-down, there are many different ways couples deal with their situation. Usually, they will bring-in someone outside the relationship. It might be another member of the family or a close friend. They might seek help from a pastoral counselor or a marriage and family therapist. Eventually, someone decides to call a lawyer! Be careful at this point. Get informed. It is not merely a problem of selecting the “right” lawyer; it is a problem of picking the “right process” for getting a solution without breaking the bank and destroying all good-will. See “Conflict Resolution Strategy Planning” menu. Pick a process that preserves dignity and mutual respect.
Most people do not have any real life experience with what to expect when they get into courts of law and litigation. For many, it is similar to the experience of “Alice in Wonderland”. At present, the family courts in Texas offer only one pathway to address and resolve conflict — that way is “adversarial” (the warfare model).
EFJI is dedicated to working with the Judicial Branch of government to transform this model. But, change is slow in coming with resistance from vested financial interests.
Meanwhile, you may choose the Collaborative Divorce or one of the other processes described under “Conflict Resolution Strategy Planning” menu.