The Legal System Experiences of Children, Families, and Professionals Who Work with Them

Victoria Weisz, Sarah J. Beal, Twila Wingrove

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Family involvement in the legal system is unique, especially with regard to dependency and divorce court. Resolution to the problems and struggles families are experiencing is sought, but resolution is often ambiguous, without a clear sense of what a fair outcome would be. Additionally, children are profoundly impacted by court proceedings and decisions, often without being central participants in the process. These experiences result in short- and long-term consequences to child and family wellbeing. This chapter discusses research addressing the experiences of families in the legal system, identifies factors that contribute to successful navigation of the system, and considers potential barriers that affect wellbeing. Further, these processes are somewhat distinct depending on the individual's role; therefore, we will consider the experiences of professionals, children, parents, foster parents, and other family members in both child welfare and divorce settings. Finally, areas for further research in this area will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStress, Trauma, and Wellbeing in the Legal System
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199301492
ISBN (Print)9780199829996
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013


  • Child
  • Courts
  • Family
  • Innovations
  • Legal system
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Wellbeing
  • Witness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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