Lawyer Monthly - July 2022

34 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUL 2022 number the family court system simply cannot maintain. The readjustment of focus towards solutions found outside the court is both beneficial to the families themselves and to the court. The Family Mediation Council (FMC) conducted a survey which revealed that mediation is successful in over 70% of cases. The increased funding and availability of mediation vouchers will financially and emotionally support those couples for whom mediation would be unaffordable. Beyond this, the scheme has also raised the profile of mediation itself, and further research from the FMC highlighted that after an initial meeting, three quarters of families chose to pursue mediation as the best option. The FMC said that “This is despite the fact that many don’t know anything about mediation or think that their partner is so unreasonable that mediation will never work”. Mediation is a wise choice for parents. It gifts, or how parents will communicate the new way of life to their child, are hugely important to parents. Unfortunately, these are unlikely to be heard by a judge, but can be delved into in mediation, making it a much more effective option. Judges are not in a position to deal with the emotions of a divorce. One judge explained the benefits of mediation recently from this perspective: “I cannot order people to be nice. However, in mediation, parents can discuss matters and hopefully improve their communication so that they have the tools to resolve disputes, thus avoiding court now and in the future.” Courts must make their decisions based on the child’s best interests. This cannot always take into account the ins-and-outs of family relationships and personalities, which is where mediation comes into play. The mediation scheme will allow more people than ever before to work through differences to find the best outcome for the child, filling in the gaps that the court cannot get to due to time and resource constraints. allows them to have more control over the outcome and futures of their children. Should the case end up in court, this power is taken away from the parent and given to the court, often resulting in further stress and heartache. A judge does not, and cannot, know the couple or their child or children as people, and sees the case from an outsider’s perspective. Mediation is likely to alleviate the risk of an unhappy ending for all involved. Most parents who go through a divorce understand that whilst their relationship as a couple has reached its endpoint, their role as parents has not and their relationship to one another as parents continues. Most parents want the best for their children, whether or not they want the best for their ex-spouse. By attending mediation, parents can explore the issues in a friendlier setting, where communication is encouraged, and the key matters can be decided upon to achieve the best results for everyone involved. Those day-to-day areas of life, such as children’s screen time, bedtime, NO-FAULT DIVORCE AND FAMILY JUSTICE IN THE UK No-fault divorce, along with other implementations, highlights an ongoing commitment to ensuring that most matters can be resolved away from the court.

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