Divorce and separation can be a troubling and traumatic experience for all those involved, including parents and children.
In the event of divorce and separation and the need for clarity regarding financial settlement as well as child arrangements it is essential that, in the absence of mutually amicable and mutually beneficial agreement, divorcing or separating parties should instruct a family law specialist.
Going to the courts is sometimes necessary and, where this is the case, a good family law solicitor should help you fight your corner and assert your rights. However, in the vast majority of cases litigation should be avoided.
Recourse to the courts can be traumatic, expensive and, ultimately, counter-productive. In fact, since 2013 it has been compulsory for couples to seek a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting before making an application to the courts for a child or finance-related court order.
In 2013 family justice minister Lord McNally commented, “All too often I hear stories of families going through expensive and traumatic court hearings but we know that when working out how to split assets and arrange time with the children, mediation is a far simpler and cheaper approach for everyone and leads to better outcomes.
“‘That is why we are changing the law so that all couples seeking a court order about child contact or a financial matter must attend a mediation information assessment meeting first, to find out about mediation and consider whether it is suitable for them.”
In 2013 statistics were released by the Ministry of Justice detailing the areas of the country which had the highest numbers of divorces.
There was good news for couples in Sussex, Hampshire, and the wider South Coast – no cities or towns in these areas of the country featured in the “top ten” divorce “hot spots”.
It was though a coastal town which headed the list, at least on a per capita basis – Weston-super-Mare – had 2,447 divorce petitions in 2012, third only to London and Birmingham. When it is considered that the town has just 80,000 residents compared to Birmingham’s 1.1 million (2,799 divorces in 2012), it is clear that something is going wrong with the town’s marriages.
The Ministry of Justice released the figures in order to highlight the value of mediation services in cases of family breakdown, whether to assist with matters related to child contact or financial settlement on divorce.
For all aspects of family law, including divorce, separation, financial settlement, and child contact, talk to the specialist solicitors at George Ide’s offices in Lion House, Chichester.
We provide specialist and independent legal advice at an affordable price. We communicate in plain English and always seek, where possible, an amicable solution.