David Burrows, Solicitor Advocate
Where parties reach agreement after relationship breakdown they may want to obtain a court order, whether over children or money; or they may be advised to seek an order (eg a clean-break settlement on divorce). There is no clear free-standing means to seek court approval of agreements or arbitral awards, save where existing court proceedings are settled or following divorce. Such means as there are of applying to the court are summarised here. The issue of whether a mediator who agrees terms between parties can settle a consent order is touched upon. And can mediators help in any way with case management agreements? The Ministry of Justice are urged to look at where free-standing consent order applications can be encouraged with minimal procedural formality; and to incorporate new procedural arrangements in the new unified family court.
The full version of this article appears in the September 2013 issue of Family Law.