Alternative Dispute Resolution and Family Dispute Resolution

Published: 06th May 2010
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Nothing is static, every thing is dynamic. Due to evolution of time every thing changes viz., process, tradition, way of living etc. The concept of dispute was very old and still in vogue. Alternate Dispute Resolution system is not a new phenomenon for the people of India; it has been prevalent in India since time immemorial. Ancient system of dispute resolution made a significant contribution, in reaching resolution of disputes relating to family, social groups and also minor disputes relating to trade and property. In earlier days disputes hardly reached courts. Decisions given by the elderly council were respected by all. But subsequently boon accompanied bane, the very system lost its aura. The delay in justice dispensation, particularly in commercial and family disputes, causes great hardship and financial loss to the parties. In order to reduce delays in resolution of disputes, the Governments and the Judiciary are encouraging settlements or counseling techniques or conciliation which are part of ADR. In this present day, Life is a circus in the fast-moving 21st century.

In India, the need to establish the Family Courts was first emphasized by the late Smt. Durgabi Deshmukh. After a tour of China in 1953, where she had occasion to study the working of family courts, Smt. Deshmukh discussed the subject with Justice Chagla and Justice Gajendragadkar and then made a proposal to set up Family Courts in India to Prime Minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Even after reformative legislation was enacted, implementation of reformed laws left much to be desired. Though the women of India demanded establishment of Family Courts in 1975, the Government of India took ten years to pass the necessary legislation. The Law Commission in its 59th report (1974) has also stressed that in dealing with disputes concerning the family, the Court ought to adopt an approach radically different from that adopted in ordinary civil proceedings and that it should made reasonable efforts at settlement before the commencement of the trail. The Code of Civil Procedure was amended in 1976 to provide for a special procedure to be adopted in suits or proceedings relating to matters concerning the family. However, not much use has been made by the Courts in adopting this conciliatory procedure and the courts continue to deal with family disputes in the same manner as other civil matters and the same adversary approach prevails. The need was therefore, felt, in the public interest, to establish family courts for speedy settlement of disputes.

Genesis of Family Disputes:-

1. Ego often called self-respect

2. Balance their career and family, often leads to stress and strain i.e Family V Career.

Family problems are caused by a number of different reasons; ex. not being open with one another, not spending enough time together, drug and drinking problems, abuse and neglect... The reasons ranged from family disputes, bad debts, ailments and other miscellaneous reasons.

In case of marital disputes, professional counselling assumes a vital role. The root cause for differences between husband and wife become difficult to find, especially in case of divorce petitions where stereotypical allegations were made, he said. In this scenario, professional counselling becomes vital to unearth the true cause of the dispute and to bring about an amicable solution.

The need of the hour was pre-marital counselling, so that people entering marriage could be aware of the commitments involved in the relationship.

Counselling is a process through which one person helps another by a purposeful conversation in an understanding atmosphere enabling him/her to cope more effectively with life problems. It may be the one of the resolution for family disputes to settle amicably. As counselling is a face -to - face communication, the counsellor must have the skills to understand his/ her clients, develop a friendly relationship and give complete, correct and clear information, using an easy language.

Family Counselling is one of the resolutive mode for family disputes, useful for:

1. Problems developing in one or more family members which affect all (i.e.: children's problems, anger, depression in one partner etc.)

2. Family or relationship change such as divorce, or children leaving home

3. Cultural and ethnic conflict within relationships

4. Individual Counseling


1.To help ease the pressure on these family courts, the government has to provide them with necessary infrastructure and manpower.

2. To create awareness about the prevailing laws related to women and children.

3. To provide referral services like, free legal aid short vocational training and medical treatment.


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