The government want to see more separated parents reaching agreements in mediation before turning to a Family Judge for help.
The government wants to reduce the number of cases in the Family Court due to concerns about the impact on children, in terms of school, health and quality of life, when their parents are involved in long, drawn out Court battles.
The Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, has now proposed plans that could force separating parents to go to mediation before they can take their dispute to Court.
Mediation is a process which takes place outside of Court. Mediation is attended by the separated parents. They are helped by a qualified independent mediator to reach agreements about their children and finances after separating. This is often a less stressful and less expensive process than going to Court.
The proposed plans are said to apply to low level family Court cases where there is no history or allegations of domestic abuse.
It is also hoped that these new plans could ease pressure on and reduce backlog for the Family Court, allowing the Family Court to focus on those families who need urgent protection.
These plans are said to be in the early stages of development, and it is not yet clear if or when they will be put into practice.
If you are struggling to agree on matters about your child with their other parent, or financial matters with your ex-spouse, our Family Team can help you understand what are your options for resolving these disagreements, including using mediation.