UK Government Plans Mandatory Divorce Mediation
Under new plans, separating couples in England and Wales will be required to seek mediation before attending court in a bid to ease demand for courts.
Under the plan, judges will be able to order parents to make reasonable attempts to mediate disputes. If they do not reasonably comply and are deemed to be harming a child’s well-being by prolonging proceedings, they may face a fine.
The planned requirement will only be applied to cases considered to be low-level. Those involving allegations or a history of domestic abuse will not require mandatory mediation. The Ministry of Justice believes that up to 19,000 currently active cases could be solved through mediation.
“It’s only recently that domestic abuse in its various forms has been better recognised and understood in English family law and care must be taken not to undermine this with compulsory mediation. Encouragement through mediation for the parties to communicate directly in a safe and respectful mediation setting is otherwise a positive step, reducing costs and the impact of separation on all members of the family.”