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MoJ launches in-depth family law review

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The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a thorough review into the current family justice system as it hopes to reduce confrontational court appearances and push more families into mediation.

An expert panel will examine and announce possible reforms hoping the interests of children caught up in the centre of family disputes can pushed to the forefront of family law concerns.

The announcement forms part of a cross-government Families and Relationships Green Paper, published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Possible changes could see privately-funded clients forced to seek mediation, much like current legal aid systems, to avoid children being exposed to contentious court hearings.

“We know that for many families the current family justice system is proving far too complicated, and its adversarial nature can lead to bitter, lengthy court hearings, prolonging what is already a stressful and emotionally draining experience,” said Justice Secretary, Jack Straw.

“Research shows that children adjust to family breakdown better when a couple manages to maintain working relations following a separation – the review is about making sure the justice system helps parents to achieve this.”

The panel, made up of independent and government representatives, will be announced in the near-future. Focus groups and a range of people journeying through the current justice system will also be consulted to help create possible reforms.

“Children are often caught up in the middle when parents decide to separate and this can have a devastating impact on their lives and their future relationships,” added Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Family, Ed Balls.

“Whilst family relationships are very private matters, there is a role for government to help families find ways to resolve conflict faster in order to limit the negative impact on children’s wellbeing.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

January 24, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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