Compulsory Mediation – Government Proposal For Separating Couples

The Ministry of Justice has announced a public consultation on introducing compulsory mediation for separating couples.

The UK Government is considering the introduction of compulsory mediation for separating couples, in a bid to steer couples away from the courts and encourage them to use mediation to resolve their disputes.

The proposed measures, outlined in a Ministry of Justice consultation, include :

  • making mediation a pre-court requirement in low-level family dispute cases
  • introducing a power for judges to impose cost orders (financial penalties) on separating couples who do not attempt to mediate
  • and requiring parents to attend co-parenting programmes pre-court

The consultation shows that the government recognises the value of family mediation in helping separating couples make arrangements without the complications involved in going to court. The proposed measures could help steer more separating couples towards mediation and away from the courts by :

  • reducing demand on the family courts and diverting unnecessary cases away from them
  • sparing families and children lengthy and stressful courtroom battles, which in turn can lead to better prioritisation of serious family cases with safeguarding concerns such as domestic abuse.

Here at National Family Mediation we view this as a positive step forward as many separating couples currently see court as the default solution. Whereas Family Mediation:

  • is 4 x faster, less stressful and 5 x cheaper than heading straight to court
  • it enables you to shape long-term solutions that are in your family’s best interests
  • the process allows families to keep control of their own destinies, instead of handing it over to the court to decide.

The government has also announced that it will be extending the £500 family mediation voucher scheme, which encourages separating couples to consider family mediation to resolve their disputes and we are pleased to confirm our continued participation in the voucher scheme.

Why wait until it’s compulsory? We have been providing family mediation for over 40 years and are able to provide family mediation nationwide.

Click here to find out more about how family mediation could help you or get in touch today to book an appointment with a family mediator.

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