Courts considering the case of Rebecca Minnock should halt legal proceedings surrounding the future of her son so mediation can be undertaken to help shape a brighter future for the three year-old, says a leading family charity.
 
“The boy in this sad case has spent nearly all his young life as part of a courtroom fight,” says Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation. 
 
“The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes. Rather than re-starting a court process that seems to have continuously failed this child, the court should now instruct a mediation process that will enable his interests to be placed as the overriding priority, rather than the parents’ anger at each other.
 
“This case highlights the urgent need for courts to consider better use of mediation early on in the process,” she said.
 
“Family court judges in divorce and separation cases can order proceedings to halted for mediation at any stage, but too few judges do so.
 
“Too often judges see family mediation simply as a hoop to jump through before proceedings can be issued, rather than as a process that can genuinely empower families as they consider their futures.
 
“Whilst the events that unfolded in this case are extreme, it is in fact another example of the type of battle that goes on up and down the country day in, day out, when relationships break down. It’s easy for angry parents to lose sight of the child’s needs and interests when they become so locked into their own fight with their ex,” she added.
 

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