February 23rd, 2011 Ministry of Justice
It has just been announced that from the 6th April, before applying to courts, most couples disputing family matters will need to attend a ‘mediation awareness session’ or ‘assessment meeting’ in order to find out about the option of resolving matters through mediation.
Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:
‘Nearly every time I ask someone if their stressful divorce battle through the courts was worth it, their answer is no. Mediation is a quicker, cheaper and more amicable alternative, particularly where children are concerned.
‘Mediation already helps thousands of legally-aided people across England and Wales every year, but I am concerned those funding their own court actions are missing out on the benefits it can bring.
Now everyone will have the opportunity to see if it could be a better solution than going straight to court.
‘Currently many people repeatedly go to court to argue over matters they are better placed to sort out themselves….. This is expensive and emotionally draining for all concerned. Parents are best placed to resolve these types of issues and mediation can help them do this.
‘Our proposals aim to radically reform the system and encourage people to take advantage of the most appropriate sources of help, advice or routes to resolution – which will not always involve the expense of lawyers or courts”
“Now everyone will have the opportunity to see if it could be a better solution than going straight to courts.