Well done to TheGuide2Surrey for reporting on the changes to the mediation rules this week!
New Law Requires Divorcing Couples to Try Mediation
Rich Lee 23/04/2014Staff Writer
This week a new law was passed that requires divorcing couples to formally consider mediation before going to court…
Surrey has one of the highest divorce rates in the UK, with around 42% of marriages ending in separation. Currently, many couples end up in court, but in an effort to settle disputes more cheaply and more amicably, the Government is introducing changes to the law that come into effect today (22 April). The changes mean that separating parents and couples now need to have formally considered mediation before going to court to resolve issues arising from divorce and separation.
“This is a crucial and welcome change in the law around divorce and separation…”
Godalming Family Mediation which offers mediation services across Surrey is working to highlight the new law changes and what they mean for separating couples.
Euan Davidson from Godalming Family Mediation said:
“This is a crucial and welcome change in the law around divorce and separation. From 22 April, anybody wanting to apply for a court order which relates to children or financial matters must first attend a mediation and assessment meeting. Mediation is a less draconian route to take than going straight to a divorce lawyer as well as being considerably less expensive. Trained Mediators use negotiation to reach agreements which both parties are prepared to live with, rather than having them dictated by the court. Couples can ask a court to consider and make their agreement into a legally binding and enforceable court order.
“The new law is designed to remove the stress from divorce proceedings by trying to avoid cases ending up in court at all. I am very positive that this change will allow us finally to reach the point where mediation becomes the automatic first choice for most divorcing and separating couples with litigation being the last resort. This will bring tremendous benefits to so many people and hopefully reduce the number of times that people say to me that they wish that had known about or been able to use family mediation as part of their separation proceedings.”
Godalming Family Mediation will be running free consultation sessions for those wanting to find out more about how mediation works and to explain how the law is changing. To book a free consultation with Godalming Family Mediation please visit their website: www.godalmingfamilymediation.co.uk