23 February, 2011
A shake up in the divorce process announced by the Justice Minister this morning is being welcomed by Family Solicitors at Forbes.
Divorcing couples involved in disputes regarding children and financial disagreements will be referred to mediation before they are allowed to use the courts. Cases involving domestic violence or child protection issues will still go to court along with cases where either party or the mediator feels that mediation is not suitable.
Gill Carr, Family Solicitor and Head of the Department at Forbes' Accrington office welcomes the changes, "Mediation will give divorcing couples the opportunity to shape their future rather than have the courts dictate the outcome. This change in the system will reduce the stress and timescale of divorce for many couples."
Anyone wanting to use the courts will have to undergo a compulsory mediation assessment session first, which could cost up to £140.
These measures are due to come into force on April 6th. National Audit Office figures show that the average time for a case using legally aided mediation is 110 days, compared with 435 days for court cases on similar issues. Data from legal aid cases shows that the average cost per client of mediation is £535, compared with £2,823 for cases going to court.
Forbes family law team is made up of specialist Divorce Solicitors who offer advice on all areas of Family Law, including divorce, division of assets following marriage breakdown, cohabitee issues, ancillary relief, civil partnerships, children matters and change of name deeds. For further information on divorce issues please contact any of our Family Law Solicitors.