Following the announcement in March 2023 that couples may face mediation being mandatory, to try to address the backlog in the family courts, reports that this is now being scrapped or watered down have been welcomed by the family lawyer community. This is something to celebrate in Family Mediation Week , which comes to a close today. Family Mediation Week, is an initiative by the Family Mediation Council, to raise awareness of family mediation. It has been inspiring this week to watch colleagues and friends spread the message that to resolve family disputes and family issues, you do not have to go to court. It has made us reflect as a team, on Jo O' Sullivan's excellent book (Almost) Anything But Family Court, which informs the reader about the different processes of separating, if you wish to avoid family court. It has a good message, reduce anxiety and stress, save money where you can and try to negotiate in an amicable way. We are committed to making sure our clients are told at the outset of our cases all of the processes, including mediation that could fit their case and to keep this under review as the case develops. Even the most difficult of cases can reach a resolution in mediation. This coupled with the awareness that for mediation to work well for our clients, we have to ensure that our clients are supported with legal advice in mediation and for them to know that court is there, with its ability to adjudicate a matter, if necessary.
Find the Family Mediation Week website here.