New rules which came into force on 6 April 2011 mean that couples planning to divorce will no longer be able to seek the court’s help in relation to an application for divorce, a relationship breakdown or arrangements for children until they have visited a trained mediator.
Danielle Peters, one of our Family Partners is a fully qualified legal mediators, under Resolution. As a legal mediator, she works with a couple over a course of say 3-5 mediation sessions. She assists them to consider all possible options and facilitate an agreement.
This agreement is intended to be an acceptable and workable solution for them both in respect of all issues arising from separation. This may be in respect of their home, financial arrangements and any issues relating to their children including where and with whom they would live.
Rather than involving the courts and having potentially lengthy involvement with two lawyers, you have a potentially calmer and more amicable option to resolve and agree your arrangements, which will put you in control and provide better value for money.
Mediation may not be suitable for all cases, particularly where there has been domestic abuse, intimidation or an imbalance of financial power. Collaborative law is another option and Sharon Montgomery, another Family Lawyer in the firm is trained in collaborative law. Whatever your situation, we will give you the best advice for you.
Choosing a properly trained mediator who is a qualified solicitor is essential to ensure that the agreement is set up in the right way.
Mediation can be a highly valuable option for many couples. The National Audit Office figures on legally-aided mediation reveals that the average time for a mediated case to be completed is 110 days, compared to 435 days for court cases on similar issues.
Furthermore, figures show that mediation costs less than going to court with statistics revealing that the average cost of mediation is £535 compared to £2823 for cases going to court.
The new rules are known as the Pre-application Protocol and Practice Direction and supplement the Family Proceedings Rules which came into effect on 6th April.
Resolution is a group of solicitors who are committed to resolving family disputes in a constructive and non-confrontational manner. All family solicitors in Crane & Staples are members.
If you’d like to find out more about whether mediation is the right option for you, please ring Danielle Peters on 01707 387073 or email her at email@example.com.
The following members of the C&S team specialise in this area of law. To find out more about them simply click on their name.
Direct dial 01707 387073 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.