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New rules for separating couples

Monday 29 April heralds’ changes to the Family Procedure Rules 1991 which will impact anyone wanting to make an application to the court in family proceedings whether to make orders in relation to child arrangements or finances.

For some time now potential litigants have had to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting – MIAM prior to making an application to the court.  Their application could not proceed without a signed MIAM certificate from an accredited mediator.  The changes to the rules will place greater emphasis on all Non-Court Dispute Resolution (NCDR). 

Tina Day is an accredited mediator and collaborative practitioner and considers what this will mean to our clients.  “Parties will be expected to actively engage in some form of NCDR before bringing an application to court.  Judges will now be questioning at each stage of the court process – not just the beginning – whether NCDR has been attempted and whether it might be appropriate.  The court will, in financial proceedings, make adverse cost orders if litigants unreasonably refuse to seek to find a solution using NCDR.”

This represents a significant change in landscape with much more emphasis on the need for family disputes to be resolved by the parties with the support of appropriate professionals rather than determined by the court.  There will be safeguards for victims of domestic abuse who can be exempted from MIAMs.

Glanvilles offer a wide range of NCDR and can conduct MIAM appointments to assist potential litigants in identifying how best to seek a resolution to their family disputes.  Contact Tina on 01329 227901 or tina.day@glanvilles.co.uk for more information.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice, and should not be relied upon as advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. All content was correct at the time of publishing. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.