Going to court should be a last resort to resolve most family disputes. The pandemic has exacerbated the significant delays in the adjudication of many family cases. The courts have made clear that all parties, legal advisers and the judiciary should continue to have express regard to all forms of non-court dispute resolution.
Below we have some common questions answered about using hybrid mediation for family disputes:
This week is Family Mediation Week – a week focussing on spreading the word about the benefits of family mediation, aiming to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively and productively.
Please see the Family Mediation Week website for more information about family mediation and of the events planned for next week.
The week has been organised by the Family Mediation Council and is also being promoted by Resolution. There will be a series of articles and videos released throughout the week, on the Family Mediation Week website.
Family law professionals in Brighton & Hove are showing their support for Good Divorce Week 2020 by offering free advice sessions to families later this month.
Good Divorce Week is an annual campaign that aims to promote practical and constructive ways for separating parents to put the needs of their children first. Organised by Resolution, a community of more than 6,500 family justice professionals, this year the campaign focuses around the benefits of early legal advice, as the organisation prepares to re-launch its public-facing Code of Practice.
Victims of domestic abuse should not be denied legal aid because they have assets trapped in a home, the high court has ruled.
The judgment has been handed down as a legal watchdog warns that those who need legal services are being failed partially because of cuts to legal aid.
The domestic abuse ruling by Mr Justice Pepperall concluded that a single parent and domestic abuse survivor who had only £28 in the bank should not have been refused legal aid for a child custody case.
The decision, according to campaigners, means the Legal Aid Agency can adopt a less restrictive approach over granting help to survivors of domestic abuse where they have “trapped capital” in homes which cannot be sold or borrowed against.
“George Floyd’s death has caused outrage around the world and exposed injustices and inequalities.
“As well as expressing sadness and sympathy it is vital we use this difficult time to reflect on the actions we must all take to tackle discrimination, as individuals, firms, businesses and communities.
Corona virus continues to cause chaos as separated parents don’t know which advice to listen to regarding returning their children to school. Many are turning to the courts to determine this issue.
Separating parents are fighting each other through the courts over whether their children should return to school as lockdown is eased, a leading family lawyer has revealed.
No-fault divorce blame game
For more than 30 years Resolution members including those at Brighton & Hove Law have campaigned for the introduction of no-fault divorce that would enable couples to separate without having to blame one another for the breakdown of the marriage.
The efforts of Resolution members are paying off as the biggest shake-up of divorce laws in fifty years looks set to take place as the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill progresses through Parliament. We will keep you posted.
Certain family proceedings should not be conducted remotely, the president of the family division has said after intervening in a case involving a young girl living in ‘limbo’.
Just because a hearing can be conducted remotely does not mean it should, Sir Andrew McFarlane said in Re P (A Child: Remote Hearing), published this week.
Proceedings began a year ago. The local authority said the girl suffered significant harm as a result of induced or fabricated illness. The mother contests the issues. A 15-day hearing was scheduled for this week to fix a final care plan for the child, who has been living with the mother’s friend under an interim care order.
‘My husband is always home and interferes with my housework, which makes me really stressed’
Like many couples, it all began when Yui’s husband started working remotely from their small Tokyo apartment as coronavirus cases rose across the Japanese capital.
The 30-year-old housewife felt “stressed” and “awkward” at his round-the-clock presence – a rarity in a culture that normally requires people to spend more time at work than at home. “I didn’t want to see him all the time,” she said.
Yui is among 100-plus husbands and wives who contacted a Tokyo-based short-term rental firm after it launched a new service aiming to help couples avoid a “coronavirus divorce”.
The Guardian reports on these difficult issues raised by Covid19 as UK lawyers get inundated by divorced parents arguing over lockdown custody. Former couples disagree about where their children should stay, with some trying to get their ex sent to jail.
Lawyers have been inundated with inquiries from divorced parents arguing about where their children should stay during the lockdown, with some trying to get their former partners sent to jail for breaking existing custody arrangements.
Some parents have been using the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse to stop their ex from seeing their children, withholding access on spurious grounds including “my ex won’t be able to teach my child their times table”.