Helping Separated Families
I have written before about both the benefits of family mediation and how both the Government and the Judiciary have, in recent years, become increasingly supportive of a holistic approach to resolving issues for separated parents and their children, rather than people seeing Court as the only viable option.
This was further evidenced by The Family Mediation Council and The Family Mediators Association reporting:
“Family Mediation Week got off to a cracking start yesterday with a launch including Lord Wolfson (MP responsible for Mediation and Dispute Resolution) and Sir Andrew McFarlane (President of the Family Division).
Lord Wolfson said mediation has the full support of the Ministry Of Justice, no ifs and no buts. He recognised mediation as part of the broader justice system, not an esoteric add on. He paid tribute to mediators up and down the country who have kept going through the pandemic, ensuring thousands of families have been supported.
Sir Andrew, supportive of family mediation as ever, talked about the ‘joined-up solution’ (as per the Family Solutions Group report) needed; to change the focus that couples have currently about what they should do about a disagreement after they separate. In particular, “The court should be the last resort not the first port of call.” He said his number one priority for the remainder of his time as President is to improve the resources for separating parents, and mediation is right at the top of this”.
The Family Solutions Group report also invited Sir Andrew to provide guidance “on an amendment to the rules, to the effect that a parenting agreement reached in mediation will be upheld unless there has been a change of circumstances, or the welfare of the child requires different arrangements to those agreed.” I believe this would be a huge step forward.
Family Mediation Week is an opportunity for everybody to learn more about Family Mediation, a process in which an independent, professionally-trained mediator helps you work out arrangements for children and finances following separation.
Greens Family Mediation Services is supporting Family Mediation Week to raise awareness of the benefits of family mediation, which can help ex-partners agree what works for them, whilst avoiding the court process with all the stress, delay and cost that that can bring.
Greens Family Mediation Services is also taking part in the Ministry of Justice’s Family Mediation Voucher Scheme, which meets up to £500 of mediation costs for families if they need to discuss arrangements for children. The scheme is anticipated to run until the end of March, although vouchers are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Our mediators are on the FMC Register, which means they meet agreed professional standards. We also offer legal aid for mediation.
To find out more about Family Mediation, the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme and Greens Family Mediation Services:
Visit https://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/fmw/ and www.greensmediation.org