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The Family Solutions Initiative – a response to a system in crisis

Date:26 FEB 2021
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Solicitor, mediator and parenting coordinator
Barrister, arbitrator and mediator

The Family Solutions Group (‘FSG’) report entitled What about me?: Reframing Support for Families following Parental Separation leaves us in no doubt as to the problems which are currently facing the family justice system which is we are told ‘in crisis’.

A key and unifying factor for the crisis is the volume of applications which find their way before the family court. Applications are ‘growing exponentially’. Those pressures which already exist are exacerbated by the current global health pandemic.

In the longer term it is clear that proposals will be made for ‘an overhaul of the system’. However until such time the Family Solutions Group reminds us that current ‘child focussed legislation rules and professional duties’ already provide a framework for practitioners and that the proper and consistent use of this framework (by lawyers and courts alike) could have a significantly positive impact on family dispute resolution.

One such example is the Surrey Initiative which was cited in the FSG report as ‘a new protocol … to facilitate the court’s duty to consider … non court dispute resolution options’ (FSG report p 159). The Surrey Initiative...

Read the full article here.