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Parents shun mediation for the courts - Part 1

Date:12 MAR 2014

Between April and September 2013 approaching half of all parties involved in child-related private law court proceedings were unrepresented. This is the shocking result of our latest Freedom of Information request that shows more and more parents are shunning mediation in favour of a court-imposed settlement.

So what has happened to lower-income separating families since legal aid was withdrawn from lawyers in April 2013?

We already know impacted families aren't dutifully heading off to publicly funded mediation as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) intended. So are they heading to court instead? Well our latest Freedom of Information requests go some way to answering the question.

Here's what we found out:

  • Between April and September 2013 21 574 parties represented themselves at court for child related proceedings (parental responsibility contact residence etc). The figure for the previous 12 months (2012/2013) stood at 33 294.
  • So within 6 months of the changes to public funding  the total number of unrepresented parties already...

Read the full article here.