1. Home
  2. Latest News
  3. Mediation to be an ‘obligation’ for divorcing couples

Mediation to be an ‘obligation’ for divorcing couples

Latest News

QualitySolicitors Lockings announce to divorcing couples that from 6 April 2011, anyone struggling to agree on arrangements concerning children, finances or property in the UK will be required to go to mediation before being able to make their case in the courts.

Usually lawyers aim for an agreed solution through negotiation because going to court is stressful and expensive – although, this is not always possible and, in some cases, the court is the only appropriate way of resolving the problems.

Reports say that anyone wishing to apply for legal aid is currently required to attempt to engage in mediation with the other party before legal aid is granted to cover the cost of court proceedings. This has been the case for a number of years. However, the intended effect of the extension is to compel privately paying clients to go down the same road.

Paul Kirby, Family Solicitor from QualitySolicitors Lockings says:

“The main virtue of mediation is that it is voluntary. Those couples who do commit to mediation are often successful in negotiating an agreement of their issues. Even under the new rules, as I understand, it will be possible for one spouse to simply refuse to engage in mediation at all, thus rendering the requirement worthless.”

“The philosophy of my department is always to encourage and assist our clients to reach a satisfactory and amicable resolution of their problems. This has benefits in terms of reducing the cost and stress of the situation and in some cases preserving the relationship between the parties. In particular where children are concerned, as a relationship can easily sour during adversarial court proceedings.”

“The only change with this new rule will be for private clients, as solicitors will now have to make it clear that this referral is a requirement, rather than a recommendation, especially in cases where it seems that court is likely to be the next step.”

“It is important however to remember that mediation is not marriage guidance. The mediator’s brief is to assist the parties in reaching an agreement as to issues arising from their separation as opposed to encouraging them to pursue reconciliation. We find that by the time most of our clients consult us, reconciliation is unlikely.”

“The Government’s issue is that Legal Aid divorces are putting a strain of £2 Billion per year on the family courts and because mediation can be a cheaper option than court the Ministry of Justice wants mediation to be the first option for couples in England and Wales. ”

“Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke recently announced plans to scrap civil legal aid for a range of cases and this should be a cause for great concern to the public, as well as to the legal profession, as it will inevitably deny access to justice to many people.”

For further information on the services provided by QualitySolicitors Lockings, please call 01482 300500 or 300200 or visit www.qualitysolicitors.com/lockings

Why Choose Us

chat

Free Initial Chat

Book a free, no-obligation chat with one of our friendly and experienced team at a time convenient for you to get clarity on your legal needs and to see if we’re a good fit for you and your family.

contact

Direct Laywer Contact

Speak to a qualified solicitor immediately without any awkward automated chatbots or intermediaries getting in the way.

value for money

No Hidden Costs

Get protected with guarantees and fair pricing models so that you know how much your claim will cost upfront.

kumbaya

Clear Communication

Engage in straightforward, jargon-free conversations via your preferred communication method.

chat

Free Initial Chat

Start a no-obligation chat with a solicitor today to see if we’re a good fit for you and your family.

fast

Same-day Response

Never wait more than one working day for an expert response when you reach out to us.

calendar

Flexible Availability

Talk to us about your schedule, urgency and timeline to see how we can tailor the service you receive.

quotation mark

What Our Clients Say

Find out about our simple, straightforward service from the people who know it best –– our clients.

I would definitely recommend Quality Solicitors for your quality service throughout the process. Very efficient and they keep you informed about the progress of your case without even asking for…

Rumana Firdose

We have recently sold & bought through Lockings the Beverley Branch, and the service was exceptional, advising us along the way, even when we hit stumbling blocks. We have only…

Mrs Sally Morton

Highly professional service, no superfluous communications and a real sense of support throughout the processes of both buying and selling. A very big thankyou from both of us.

Peter Rotherham

Menu