The New York Family Court this year celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. Hailed as an "experimental" tribunal, designed to resolve society's most intractable problems, including family dissolution, delinquency and child neglect, the court has been perceived as a radical development which altered the then existing legal rules governing family affairs. The Family Court Act indeed incorporates several creative provisions. But the court's foundations were built upon solid jurisprudential underpinnings, principles which had evolved over the course of the preceding century. Establishment of the court was neither radical nor experimental; in reality, Family Court represents the latest increment in the development of legal principles to protect children and adjudicate family disputes. In view of the controversies which have surrounded the court since its inception, an historical silver anniversary analysis may be helpful.
Merril Sobie, The Family Court: An Historical Survey, N.Y. St. B.J., July 1988, at 53, http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/615/.