Family justice minister Lord McNally has pledged an extra £10 million towards helping people bring their marriage to an end using mediation. The money is set to be used to fund extra mediation services, which are often used to avoid couples having to fight in court.
Mediation is a useful tool which can avoid upsetting and costly court battles, and might be appropriate for situations involving children or where there are a variety of different assets to split – property or cash for instance.
In a statement the Ministry of Justice said that the additional funding may help couples to avoid the “traumatic and divisive effect of courtroom battles”.
Lord McNally commented: “Going through a divorce or separation can be an emotionally draining and stressful time for everyone involved, especially for children. All too often money is wasted on expensive and traumatic court hearings that can take far too long to resolve – and that is why we want to help people to use mediation, a quicker and simpler approach which brings better outcomes.”
According to figures quoted by the Ministry of Justice the average cost incurred when resolving property and finance disputes in a divorce is around £500 – this figure increases to approximately £4,000 if these separation issues are settled in the courts.
As well as this, the average mediated case is resolved in a quarter of the time of a non-mediated dispute.
It’s positive that steps are being taken to resolve divorces in a way which save time, heartache and money for both sides. Many couples who have taken the painful decision to legally part ways may not realise that mediation is an option, but many law firms will offer it before pursuing a court resolution.
If you are interested in mediation then it is vital you opt for a legal professional with the knowledge and experience necessary to deal with complex cases. The most skilled mediators are those who strike the balance between professional and personal, bringing both legal skills and a sense of concern to their clients.
Hattons Solicitors have a dedicated team of family law solicitors specialising in family law including cohabitation agreements, divorce law and separation.