Mediation ‘may not be answer’ in divorce

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A family law expert has given a cautious welcome to the news that the Government is planning to make mediation mandatory in divorce cases.

Justice minister Simon Hughes has backed the Government’s plans to ensure that separating couples in disputes involving property or child contact should seek advice from professional mediators before relying on a court to make a decision.

Simon Gledhill, head of Family at Napthens solicitors, gave the plans a cautious welcome, and warned that pushing couples into mediation is not always the solution.

He said: “Many people may find it tough to sit down with a mediator and their spouse to discuss the issues. They may be intimidated or feel unable to express their feelings and arguments properly. It is possible situations will arise under the new system where agreements are reached that are not in the best interests of one of the parties or their children.”