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.”