Charity urges increase in family mediation

Mediation|January 24th 2017

A charity has called for an increased use of mediation during family breakdown.

The public needs a better understanding of the divorce process so children and other “at-risk parties” can be better protected, the Family Mediation Association (FMA) insists.

This call comes during the organisation’s Family Mediation Week, which launched yesterday and will run until Friday 27 January. This publicity campaign aims to raise awareness of out-of-court options for families going through divorce or separation.

Beverley Sayers is a spokesperson for the FMA. She said that if couples going through a divorce “can stay patient and open minded, there are much better and cheaper alternatives to going to court, including mediation, and collaborative family law and arbitration”.

Avoiding the courtroom would make “a big difference to any kids involved in what is a hurtful time for everyone in the family” she added.

Sir Oliver Heald QC is a Conservative MP and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice. He claimed he was “a strong supporter” of the way mediation can “help couples reach agreements and reduce the stress of separation”. He said he was “very keen to see improved information and signposting, so that more people are aware of how mediation can help dispute resolution”.

An increase in mediation awareness would not only help couples but would ease the financial burden on taxpayers, the organisation claimed.

Early last year, the Relationships Foundation estimated that the cost of family breakdown to the taxpayer in 2016 was £48 billion, a £1 billion increase from 2015 and a significant rise from the £37 billion total of 2009.

For more information on the FMA, click here.

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  1. Alphonse says:

    It seems to me that a massive programme of education is needed — to establish “mediation” as the NORM, with the divorce court the very last resort.

    To some extent this would mean making the point that those who DO go for the “courtroom experience” are rather shameful — society does not see them as reasonable people. Well, at least the one who refused — although, unfortunately, no one would normally know which of the two it was. But that would naturally mean the partner who agrees, putting pressure on the one who does not.

    I know of one couple where HE was willing to go for mediation, but she adamantly refused. Why? It was blindly obvious to all concerned — she felt she could collect more money from him that way.

    But her avarice will cost her — as the case was drawing to a close, it was becoming clear she will lose everything.

    A salutary lesson?

  2. keith says:

    Social services have also played a significant role in family break ups due to their closed and shielded system of abuse perpetrated on parents fighting for their children in the family courts. thousand of families would still be together if it wasnt for the lies and deception that has been going on behind closed doors away from the public.
    its a dirty rotten system designed to make shure many parents fail to keep their children even when they can prove a very good past record of being good parents.
    as with most things in this life, once you get people looking for big profits stepping into the equation its all down hill from there.
    human rights are ignored and violated and families will suffer terribly.

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