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Let’s talk it out

In accordance with family dispute resolution week (24-28 Nov) Suzanne Kingston looks at the alternative options available to separating couples who want to avoid costly and lengthy legal proceedings 

27 November 2014

Family dispute resolution week has been in full swing since Monday. A number of events have been taking place around the country run by the umbrella organisation for family lawyers, Resolution. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the alternative ways that family disputes can be resolved, other than through contentious and costly litigation in the courts.

In April 2011, a government initiative was introduced requiring anybody wanting to pursue court proceedings in a family case to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a mediator, to find out about non-court options. Initially, the numbers of disputes resolved through mediation increased, however statistics compiled last year showed that, since cuts to public funding were introduced in 2013, the numbers of couples attending out of court sessions have plummeted by 47 per...

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