The government has launched a new website to back up the Family Mediation Helpline. The website gives advice on how to avoid damaging and expensive court battles by using mediation. Mediation is an alternative to litigation and can be cheaper, quicker and less stressful. It is a voluntary process where a neutral third party helps both sides to agree on the outcome. In announcing the new site, the government said "the courts should be the last resort for people involved in family disputes."
Family Mediation Helpline
HM's Courts Service launched the Family Mediation Helpline in May 2006. Trained operators provide information to callers about family mediation, whether it is suitable for particular cases and whether parties may be eligible for public funding. Families can call the helpline on 0845 602 6627.
Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said:
"The government is committed to the promotion of family mediation as in many cases mediation can offer considerable advantages over going to court.
"Mediation is particularly helpful in cases involving children where ongoing conflict between the parents is more likely than not to impact negatively on their development. This is about getting the best outcome for children - who are so often the ones damaged during these court proceedings."
** Additional Information & Advice **
You can obtain further information about mediation on the Family Mediation Helpline website.
Depending on your circumstances, however, you may want to speak with a solicitor who specialises in family law. You can be matched with a family law solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.