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Mediation will no longer be compulsory for separating couples

Couple’s Hand On Divorce Agreement

It’s been reported that compulsory mediation will be ruled out for separating couples, a contributing factor being the current flaws in the system, including the protection of domestic abuse victims.

The focus of the Family Mediation Council will now turn to training mediators on abuse signs and recognising victims.

The Law Society Vice President commented that “Mandatory attendance for mediation could negatively affect the outcome of a dispute. Making mediation voluntary means that domestic abuse victims can be referred to services that can guide them through the right dispute resolution for them”.

This will come as a relief to victims of domestic abuse who will no longer feel the pressure to enter into mediation because of its once obligatory nature.

This shift in approach protects victims of domestic abuse whilst also ensuring the children’s wellbeing is paramount.

Options available

Following this update, it is clear that it is not a one size fits all approach. Here are some options available to someone in the position of separating who will need to consider what happens with their children post separation.

  • Reaching an agreement by way of correspondence between parties
  • Mediation (although Morecrofts do not offer this service, we can still assist with a referral to a family mediation service and can advise you about any agreements made)If you are financially eligible, costs of mediation can be covered by Legal Aid and Legal Aid will also cover the cost of legal advice .
  • Making an application to court for a Child Arrangements Order (CAO)

During a separation, it can be difficult not only for the parties directly involved but also the children.

Morecrofts can talk you through all the options available to make the process as smooth as it can possibly be.