Good Divorce Week is back again, Resolution’s annual campaign to promote constructive ways forward for anyone separating or divorcing. This year the Good Divorce Week campaign focuses on parenting through separation.
I’ll start with my annual unease about the use of the words good and divorce together. However, the reason for this event is not to tell people to divorce or that this is a good time to do it. I like the words of the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, who says that ‘There is a better way’.
I said last year there was growing momentum to move away from lawyers and courts to more holistic and non-litigious ways of dealing with everything that arises during a separation. I’m pleased to say this continues:
In his recent address to the Jersey International Family Law Conference Sir Andrew McFarlane talks about getting info to those who are separating ‘upstream’ i.e. available at much earlier stage. He issues the call for greater co-ordinated and signposted provision of information, guidance and support outside of the court setting. He also says there needs to be a general public education programme so that we lose forever the unhelpful and very old-fashioned language of ‘custody’ of children.
Similarly, Dominic Raab, the justice secretary, wants mediation to be the default process for divorce cases. To further discourage people from using court, those who could have used dispute resolution alternatives such as mediation could face cost penalties if they still choose to litigate.
From me, I’ve come up with five things to have in mind if you are separating, to make sure it happens in a better way and means everyone can move forward.
2. HALT ~ STOP
Look out for one each day of Good Divorce Week. In the meantime, if you’re upstream and looking for guidance, please contact us here or call 07595 650223.