Family business | Family mediation a waste of time

Blog | 15 October 2012

Marilyn_Stowe_new_WEB

Why is the government so intent on 
forcing people into mediation when this is 
patently not delivering the results, 
asks Marilyn Stowe

Nine months on from the excitement surrounding the launch of family law arbitration, and over a year since the government introduced Mediation Information Assessment Meetings, has the alternative dispute resolution cause moved any further forwards?

I asked myself this question following Resolution’s Family Dispute Awareness week at the end of September. Far from triumphantly heralding the appetite for ADR in England and Wales, it was a reminder that the public is either unaware or indifferent to the options available to them outside of the court process.

A survey they conducted showed that 45 per cent of people believe that divorce involves a visit to court. And there were a further two statistics that illustrated just how conflicted and confused opinion is. While 53 per cent were keen on “ensuring that the divorce is as conflict-free as possible”, 40 per cent agreed that “divorces can never be without conflict.”

No ADR bounce

In many ways it would seem that the case for ADR has never been stronger. We are seeing a surge in individuals representing themselves as legal aid dries up, few of whom have any desire to end up in court but that is where they are. In the current economic climate, alternatives to the court process also seem to make financial sense.

And yet it isn’t happening, the bounce into ADR just isn’t there, despite the best efforts of everyone who thinks it is a viable, credible alternative. So why not?

It seems pretty clear that family law practitioners face a huge challenge in building awareness of exactly what ADR and its various strands entail. Mediation and collaborative approaches have been around for years, and while many people are at least aware of some of the advantages, few are keen to take the plunge.

My firm decided to promote mediation and arbitration in October by offering a fixed fee for suitable cases throughout the month – an idea championed by other family law arbitrators this autumn. And while this may help to increase knowledge of the disciplines in certain quarters, from what I have seen so far (and I trained as a mediator back in the 1990s) I think we are all in fact wasting our time. While we try our best to attract clients and the government is making every possible move it can to force couples out of court, what is happening on the ground?

Litigants in person

The courts are flooded with litigants in person, a trend that will only increase when legal aid for most family cases is abandoned from next April. Approximately 200,000 extra litigants in person are expected to make their applications to the court. Apart from a court fee - from which many court goers will be exempt - there is no additional cost. There is immediate and free access to the judiciary, who now have no choice but to put on a brave face and cope. Despite all the alternative methods to resolve disputes and the best efforts of government to wean people off the courts, the public still vote with their feet and head into the courtroom

In doing so I think they are sending out the clearest possible signal to us all. They aren’t impressed by the alternatives. 
They trust the courts. They have confidence in the outcomes they produce and aren’t interested in quasi-judicial systems, or ‘touchy-feely’ alternatives.

We too perhaps may have been sold a pup. After all, we are first and foremost family lawyers; trained to work within a family justice system, not a system that limps alongside simply because government has determined it should be pushed hard as a cheaper option for the public purse.

We’ve all bought into ADR – I suspect without doing enough research of our own with the people who count. And like it or not we have our answers; a court system in meltdown is proof enough that this is not what people want.

Comments

I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Book report by writers lounge

awful few Canada Goose Outlet days, at last succumbing for louboutin outlet you to your girlfriend costly timetable for important things except for DWTS. Believe it or not, that suppliers preserved your ex louis vuitton outlet operation using Gleb Christian Louboutin outlet regarding final as there seemed bottes ugg to be a number moncler of Canada Goose Outlet concern regardless if your woman may possibly party in the slightest degree. Extremely cunning with Gleb to coach outlet come Canada Goose Outlet back out and about shirtless with regards to cha michael kors outlet cha guaranteeing coach outlet which usually presently burberry outlet there may Canada Goose Outlet be a small number of, if perhaps all, eye lids louis vuitton on which Lisa was basically working on. And yet Louboutin outlet control isn't actually realized which. The idea Canada Goose Outlet originates from nike air max consideration and additionally debate. Naturally, we Canada Goose Outlet all direct through terms and additionally decisions moncler outlet that will stream from ugg pas cher this; so your large tory burch outlet positive aspects have been in a massive commitment involving wedding ceremony true religion outlet more than might know about feel along with coach outlet store online claim.. Among the many stores, Maya's Vogue Sdn Bhd, cheap oakley is known as a distinct chosen for the master canada goose their selves focus on prospects andf the other

Canada Goose Outlet
Excellent blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I'd really like to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot! debt reduction services
I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you!surfing-fitness.com |
teamsurvivalfitnessbootcamp.com |
betterhealthadvantage.com |
healthpractitionerswebsites.com |
montclairvafitness.com |
gardnerfinehomes.com |
rentaranchhouse.com |
1088house.com |
actifhouse.com |
adi-house.com |
almondfornchouse.com |
ashbourne-house.com |
beachhousemovies.com |
bealehouse.com |
beerandwinemakingwarehouse.com |
I believe that . students can benefit and accelerate their.do my coursework – CHP||cheap coursework from courseworkhelppros.co.uk
Hey, thanks for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome. research paper writers
Family mediation is very important in your life. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, essaybuzz.co.uk
After read a couple of the articles on your website these few days, and I truly like your style of blogging. Lipozene
When it comes to family mediation, it all depends on the type of the family. It may cause to have a positive or negative result either way. But talking about it and citing any differences, would it be too much to ask in a family college paper having problem?
According to me that isn't really making sense but yeah i respect it the way you have written it. But mediation always worked for me and i found it a useful thing but i know everyone has their own opinion. pt documentation software
The topic of this blog is amazing and very useful for me. cute cheap clothing
Solicitors journal is my favorite which i like a lot. Buy Zenegra Tablets
Students begin questioning the importance of a college education from high school itself. Some feel that being able to earn immediately after school is a more attractive proposition buy essays and they convince themselves that a college education is not that imperative in the long run.
This finely written article containing the opinions about diverting people into meditation even if it is not giving any good result will help you to have idea about family meditation. Try to post these kinds of good works so that people can have information about certain things. Cheers!! Scam OmniTech
Stretch we endeavor our pick to entice buyers besides the administration is making buy a research paper each potential kindle it can to strength braces external of pursue, what is occasion on the terrain?
Advantageously, the article is really the best on this notable topic. I harmonize with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your approaching updates Lipozene
While leaving the college every student is filled with mixed emotions. They feel happy because of accomplishment in achieving their goals and entering into a new life. During this period they make lots of friends. research paper writing
Now and then I’ll stumble across a post like this and I’ll recall that there really are still interesting pages on the web. ^_^. Thanks. Lipozene
Give Feedback