Family Court Changes in England and Wales

Family Court Changes in England and Wales

As a Guardian ad Litem, I read this article with interest.  After a study, a streamlining of the family court system in England and Wales is being tried.  Three layers of courts are being consolidated and the stated goal is to speed up and simplify proceedings.  They want to get family law cases involving children to be resolved in 26 weeks.

Speed and simplicity aren’t always compatible goals and while family law cases shouldn’t linger for years, there is a concern that speeding up the process for all cases will not always result in the best outcome.  Complicated cases take time and a thorough review can’t always be done quickly.  I would rather see a case take a little longer and have a better result for the child involved.

I have seen cases that have lingered for years and that is not a good thing for a child either.  A happy medium can and should be found and while systems are important, one size fits all is not the answer to problems in family court.

The implementation of a mediation requirement is a good sign.  When parents can work out a mutually agreeable settlement that is in the best interest of their child, everyone wins.

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