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Arbitration scheme extended to disputes involving children

Arbitration is now available in family disputes concerning children.

As the name suggests, the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) promotes the use of arbitration, a legally binding form of mediation which is conducted by a legal professional. Arbitration has been available for family law disputes since 2012 for financial disputes, but the new ‘Family Law Arbitration Children Scheme’ will extend provision to the exercise of parental responsibility, where children should live, time to be spent with each parent and similar issues.

The specifics of the new scheme were developed by family law experts. It was officially launched this week at Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court in central London.

The Rt Hon Lord Falconer is Chair of the IFLA. Speaking at the launch, he said:

“The new children arbitration scheme will enable couples to resolve disputes concerning parental responsibility of children more quickly, cheaply and in a more flexible, less formal setting than a court room. It will also guarantee confidentiality where that is required or necessary.”

The peer added:

“At a time when our courts are under significant pressures, the availability of arbitration for children matters builds on the long and proud tradition arbitration has in other areas, and gives parents and practitioners another tool with which to resolve family disputes.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. The Devil's Advocate says:

    Seeing that we are civilized a nation to have parental parity as a legal right this is axiomatic. However At least it shows that there is conviviality for change. How does one apply for this others have requested; Samaritans need this information for the number of potential suicides from alienation continues to skyrocket we need this as a kick centre for the need for parity parenting so that engaged and responsible parents can balance the abuse millions of children and family members are receiving from psychrophilic and dysfunctional hostile family members at this time and children continue to suffer.

  2. JamesB says:

    Just listening to you on the radio, BBC radio 4, 10:30 ish, Marilyn. What the court would do is … go before Magistrates court .. why contact should continue, will listen.

    Why not do yourself for £215. Good shout.

    Interested on the 3 year point and PR point. Not sure I followed. If you are living with children for 3 years court will hear an application for contact whether they are yours are not, if less than 3 years then not. Is that what you said? If PR registered then they will receive application.


    If step parent gets PR, does that mean that the biological parent who is not the primary parent no longer is obliged to pay child support as would be the case if the children are adopted?

    Interested in the difference between adopting children and getting PR for them. It seems to me that PR does not really have much going for it. So, my question really is, if a biological parent, why go for PR?

    I ask as I wonder why a man should put his name on the birth certificate? What is in it for him? Seems to me a label of little purpose, as the premise behind it that a biological parent has no rights of course is wrong.

    One of the most tricky things you can do, agree. Happy Steps. May be off to read it, step children broke a relationship of mine I would have liked to see succeed and otherwise would have.

    Thing seems to be step children and step parent not understanding or knowing their place or agreeing to it. None of them wanting to be regarded as a reserve parent or child and wanting to feel valued.

    I said to my children when they asked me what if they don’t get on with the new partner to give him a chance and they seem to have done. He will never be their Dad but they are better getting on with him then not.

    It would have been better if me and ex girlfriend with children had been able to agree some rules to enable the relationship. I suppose if you can’t communicate then that makes relationship difficult and the better you communicate, whether or not you are together the better.

  3. JamesB says:

    I also found magistrates court. Who I think aren’t paid. Unprofessional and feminist. That said I never asked for contact there. Was just a Magistrate on a dodgy DV case which was eventually dropped much to the chagrin of the magristrates, due to lack of evidence. Mainly because it did not happen as per the ex’s complaint to the police. Was the ex prosecuted for wasting police time or not or perjury? No, instead got loads of victim support.

  4. JamesB says:

    p.s. Good performance and interesting on the radio, well done keep it up. Regards, James.

  5. JamesB says:

    The way it should be.

    All children have tests and confirm both biological parents, who are then put on the birth certificate and have PR automatically, name to be agreed between them or what the woman wants if they can’t agree, I have no preference on the surname being male, with Italians and Dr Who that surname following woman is fine.

    PR can be applied for as can adoption. PR can only be given to non biological parent if non resident parent agrees. Child support can be disposed of by both biological parents agreeing. Pre nups to be legal.

  6. JamesB says:

    Final 2 points. 1. Children, step children, do not care if their mother or father has a relationship or not indeed probably more often than not would prefer that they are not as can and do see a step as a rival for parents time. 2. Children will view step parent and biological parents as different. These 2 points forged in my mind following a lot of experience from both sides, as a child and as parent and as step parent and non resident parent in these situations.

  7. JamesB says:

    I would have preferred to have married young and been happily married all my life but things don’t always work out and there is no defence to a dodgy divorce petition and the other side walking off and it is very difficult to tell if they will before you marry them. Some say don’t marry someone who’s parents are divorced as it sets a precedent and I can understand that and perhaps that is right. Still I don’t like or think it fair to rule people out on something that was not their fault, although perhaps I am over optimistic. I think it better to try and make the best of it including breaking up although the courts could do better helping people with that as explained before and how they could help, they are right to try and get people to sort things themselves but when they can’t don’t seem to know what to do financially or for family, although where there is abuse or neglect or adoption required they seem to help a lot better.

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