New Laws for Separating Couples


Under new laws currently going through parliament separating couples will be legally required to find out about ways to settle disputes away from the courtroom.

Figures released show that in 2012 67% of all publically funded couples who filed for divorce opted for mediation. Mediation has been proven to provide better outcomes and be a quicker, cheaper option. They resolved their concerns out of court with a qualified mediator and avoided long and costly legal proceedings

Separating couples will have to see whether it would be better for them to use mediation by attending an initial information and assessment session with a qualified family mediator.

The Government is predicting a sharp rise in the use of mediation for separating couples over the next 2 years and to support this, the Ministry of Justice has introduced the new laws in the Children and Families Bill this is currently progressing through Parliament.

Family Justice Minister Lord McNally said:

‘The benefits of mediation are clear – it is quicker, cheaper and leads to better outcomes. That is why we are introducing new laws – which will require couples to attend a mediation information assessment meeting first – to find out more and consider whether it is suitable for them.

‘I want to see separating couples, wherever possible, use mediation. The court should be a last resort when couples are working out how to split assets and arrange time with the children.’