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Redesigning the courtroom for a better divorce

Cincinnati Judge Amy Searcy is redesigning the courtroom for better divorce proceedings. She wants better outcomes for families going through the divorce process.

Courtrooms are pretty intimidating places. The walls are wood-paneled. The ceilings are high. The judge sits higher than everyone else behind the bench. It is a solemn and somber décor evoking the majesty of the law.

It is set up for a civilized form of combat. As Judge Searcy sees it,”I wasn’t here very long before I started to realize that the way the courtrooms were set up, it was almost like a battleground. There is a plaintiff and a defendant’s table so it’s me versus her, me versus him.”

A More Relaxed Courtroom Environment for Divorce Hearings

So Judge Searcy decided to remodel her courtroom, using her own money, to make it a more relaxed environment for divorce hearings. She replaced the plaintiff and defendant tables with an oval conference table.

Now the parties sit next to each other at the same table facing the judge with the attorneys on either end. She also hung large pictures of area parks and put a sign on the wall that says “Best Interest of the Child.”

“We want you to be successful,” she said. “We want your children to be successful.”