Government Announcement re PAP -
From 6 April separating couples must assess whether mediation would be a better way of resolving their disputes than battling over them in court. Anyone setting out to contest the terms of their separation in court will first be required to consider mediation, under a new protocol agreed with the Judiciary.
This usually takes place through one mediation awareness session, where both parties find out what the process can offer before they decide if it is right for them, and replicates the system already in operation for couples granted legal aid. It will not apply to couples not planning to contest their terms in court.
Mediation is often quicker, cheaper and less confrontational than going to court. Research shows it can cost a quarter of the price and take a quarter of the time of going to court, and with two thirds of publicly funded mediation already resulting in full agreement it can ensure better results for families too.
For couples who have decided separation is the only course of action, mediation means they can decide the terms of their split between themselves, helped by a trained and impartial mediator, rather than fighting each other through lawyers, with a judge making the key decisions which will shape their lives.
Currently many people repeatedly go to court to argue over matters they are better placed to sort out themselves -
In serious circumstances -
Minister Jonathan Djanogly said: "Nearly every time I ask someone if their stressful divorce battle through the courts was worth it, their answer is no. Mediation is a quicker, cheaper and more amicable alternative, particularly where children are concerned. Mediation already helps thousands of legally-
Notes: National Audit Office figures on legally-