New mediation law aims to cut divorce court battles 2

The number of couples feeling the emotional pain and financial cost of fighting a divorce in the courts may be about to fall, as the UK government introduces a new law requiring mediation to be the first option in a separation.

From 6th April this year, couples without any risk of domestic abuse or need for child protection will have to attend mediation to try to resolve their dispute before the case is allowed to go to court.

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said that mediation was a “quicker, cheaper and more amicable alternative” to family courts.

Couples receiving legal aid already benefit from mediation, yet those who fund their own divorce could be missing out on more beneficial and cheaper alternative to court.

Though mediation will still require the consent of both parties before it goes ahead, it’s hoped that many more people will take advantage of this.

Not everyone is convinced the new proposals will work.

Law Society president Linda Lee said, “As a matter of course any lawyer aims for an agreed solution through negotiation because going to court is stressful and expensive. This is not always possible and, in some cases, the court is the only appropriate way of resolving the problems.”

She added, “The government is creating a myth that mediation is a panacea in order to justify cuts to legal aid which will take areas such as this, where people desperately need advice out of scope.”

The law will affect couples in England and Wales.

There’s no doubt the UK divorce rate is rising, after a drop in the late noughts.

Mediation won’t help the increasing number of people living in abusive relationships with little choice of escape due to the current financial climate. These cases would still need to be referred to a court.

Do you think this new requirement for mediation is a good thing?


2 thoughts on “New mediation law aims to cut divorce court battles

  • sonia hanson

    I think this is a completely ridiculous idea and actually adds to costs, the majority of people going for divorce actually want only that…. a divorce, they do not want to waste any further time opening up old wounds. What about people who have been separated for over 2 years with other partners and are completely happy that they moved on? Do they have to legally put 2 sets of families through yet another session of mental tortures by bringing estranged parties together just because they want a divorce? No. They merely want to put the past behind them and move on and not have to dig up the pains again. Completely ridiculous waste of time.

  • Catherine Ngugi

    I think this is fine. The emotional torture and financial cost involved is too high. The use of a mediator could work very well, when the couple is positive and ready to say the truth. Good luck

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