Court cuts announced during Family Dispute Resolution Week
In his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne has announced the logistics of budget cuts at the Ministry of Justice, including court closures, reductions in the number of judges, and a move towards digitisation of procedures.
Can mediation save money?
Mediation has long been in the frame as a cost-saving strategy to reduce divorce proceedings in court. However, most mediators are not legally trained; indeed, the argument has been put forward that their primary skill is in bringing couples together to make their own decisions.
This may work sufficiently well in simple, straightforward cases, but it does not provide couples with legal advice in more complex cases. As mediator Philippa Dolan suggests in an article at familylaw.co.uk:
“It sends out the wrong message if lawyers are not to play a prominent part in family mediation. This is intended to be equal to a court-based system and I fear family mediation will lack the credibility it deserves without lawyers’ involvement.”
Mediation by qualified lawyers
That’s why at Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers, we offer mediation conducted by our own team of lawyers. We believe you need that legal advice to be accessible at the point when decisions are being made, during mediation, so you can both come to decisions based on sound, legal advice rather than for the sake of agreeing.
We have enjoyed considerable success with mediation over the years, enabling couples to come to agreements that have avoided in the involvement of the courts. However, mediation is not for every couple, and the more complex your legal and financial affairs, the more important it is to get the right legal advice.
If you are considering mediation, or are confused about the options available, do call us. We offer a no-obligation 30-minute consultation to discuss your situation, so you can decide the best course of action for you and your family. If you decide on mediation, we’re here to help. If you decide that a more formal, court-based approach is required, we will ensure your best interests are protected throughout proceedings. Call us for more details, or to book your appointment at our discreet, countryside family law offices.