Online Dispute Resolution and Family Disputes
Journal of Family Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2006
41 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2007
This paper explores the potential role of online dispute resolution (ODR) in family disputes. Following recent reforms in family law in Australia, primary dispute resolution processes (PDR) such as mediation have become the default process for the majority of cases in which there are disputes over parenting or property. PDR processes can potentially be enhanced by the use of information and communication technology. But despite potential benefits for some categories of disputants, the application of ODR to family disputes has been little explored. We identify and classify nine ODR systems that have relevance to family disputes. While further research and system development is needed, we conclude that ODR remains an interesting if not yet fully developed new tool for family dispute resolution practitioners. As the increased use of information and communication technology and the Internet influence the way in which services are delivered, practitioners and providers of dispute resolution services would do well to anticipate that some clients will want ODR offered as an option for facilitating family disputes.
Keywords: online dispute resolution, family, Australia, mediation
JEL Classification: K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation