Fighting couples to be penalised for clogging up the family courts

The government is planning to fine warring parents who take their issues to court, when motivated by personal revenge rather than their children’s best interests.

The fines will act as a disincentive for parents to keep their arguments out of the courts, sparing children the trauma of a courtroom drama and helping to relieve pressure on the family courts system, which is struggling with a huge backlog of cases.

As an alternative, Justice secretary, Dominic Raab aims to make mediation the default process for divorcing couples, to prevent parents battling it out in the courtroom. It is his belief that mediation can help couples resolve their family matters, while freeing up judges to deal with serious cases involving domestic abuse or safeguarding issues.

One option to disincentivise going to court is to make it easier to award substantial costs against the parent thought to be taking advantage of the court system to seek revenge. In such cases, the children can be used as a pawn to play out personal grievances causing unnecessary stress and anxiety.

The government feels that unless there are problems relating to domestic violence or safeguarding, family matters can be resolved through non-court dispute resolution processes, particularly mediation.

At Tisshaws we are committed to non-court dispute resolution of family matters. We have two trained mediators, Richard and Hana, and also offer collaborative law and arbitration for those not wishing to put themselves and their families through the expense, stress and lengthy timescales of going to court.

If you are thinking about divorce or separation, we know how important it is to fully understand the law relating to your individual situation before you commit to any course of action, so we offer an initial no obligation one-hour appointment for just £50 (inc. VAT), so you can talk through the options specific to your personal circumstances with a qualified family lawyer. To book an appointment, please contact 01444 472700, email or complete the form below.

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