Published: 15 August 2013
There is now judicial encouragement for couples who are facing separation to explore other ways to settle family matters amicably before they escalate to the courtroom. There is also prospective legislation currently being passed by Parliament which proposes changes to the way arrangements for children following separation, are reached. The aim is to ensure that the children’s best interests are at the heart of all decision making. It is hoped that families will resolve their differences through mediation instead.
Family mediation is strongly supported by the Government as it is a far quicker and more cost effective way of resolving family disputes, such as the division of assets, financial agreements and childcare and residence matters. Family mediators are being encouraged to lead the way in trying to promote out of court settlements by Family Justice Minister Lord McNally.
Lord McNally said, "The benefits of mediation are clear – it is quicker, cheaper and leads to better outcomes. That is why we are introducing new laws – which will require couples to attend a mediation information assessment meeting first - to find out more and consider whether it is suitable for them."
"I want to see separating couples, where possible, use mediation. The court should be a last resort when couples are working out how to split assets and arrange time with the children".
An announcement from the Ministry of Justice has said that the Government are committed to investing £25 million in the next 12 months to provide support for mediators, as well as passing the new law to ensure that couples who separate consider mediation first before taking their dispute to court.
New statistics for the UK show that last year nearly 125,000 couples filed for divorce but opted for mediation rather than court hearings.
At K J Smith Solicitors, we have a number of fully qualified and experienced family mediators who are trained to help couples resolve conflict by communicating with each other to reach a positive outcome both parties - saving you time, money and reducing the amount of stress caused by a relationship breakdown.
For more information on family mediation or to arrange a free 45 min consultation, please contact us today on 01491 630000 (Henley-on-Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading) or 020 7070 0330 (Central London) or email email@example.com to see how we can help.