Unified Family Court Begins

Families, whose battles with everything from child custody to domestic violence wind up getting them in trouble with the law, are now being rounded up in Leon County and brought in to unified family court. It tries to bring all family members before the same judge at the same time.

Thursday, Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente joined judges, lawyers and case workers to discuss the new "consolidated" court.

Barbara Pariente says, "By combining these cases before one judge, we stop this fragmented view of the family and really do try to solve that child's problems and that family's problems."

Several circuits are trying this new "family court" approach, which mixes elements of justice and social work. There are more than a dozen Leon County families participating.