This week, 25-29 November, Resolution the largest family lawyers' professional association, is holding Family Dispute Resolution Week. It is designed to raise awareness of alternative methods to litigation for separating couples such as mediation, arbitration, negotiation, collaborative law and conciliation.
Members of Resolution will be organising events across the country to demonstrate how successful non-confrontational options are for resolving family law disputes. Local judiciary and other business professionals will be attending the national events which will show video presentations exemplifying how various different out of court options operate.
The introduction of MIAMs in April 2011 means that every separating couple is now required to consider family mediation at the start of the process. Further, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act came into force in April this year, resulting in fewer people now having access to free legal representation than at any time since legal aid was first introduced in 1949. As a result the professional association's second annual awareness week will be viewed from a different perspective.
Emma Hamilton Cole, a mediator and collaborative lawyer who leads Coles Miller's Family Law team commented: 'People's attitudes to divorce are now very different compared with Family Dispute Resolution Week last year'.
'The legal landscape is significantly different this year following the changes that we have had to Legal Aid,' she added.
Find out more about organised events and activities on the Resolution website.