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News: Ministers given professional family mediator views: FMC response to ‘mandatory mediation’ consultation

Ministers given professional family mediator views: FMC response to ‘mandatory mediation’ consultation

The professionals have spoken … now it’s over to Ministers to take the right steps to boost family mediation numbers

The home of regulated family mediation in England and Wales, The Family Mediation Council, (“the FMC”) has published its response to government proposals which could make mediation mandatory in all suitable low-level family court cases.

The FMC ran a series of online meetings in recent weeks, giving opportunities for its 1,000 Registered Mediators to help shape the organisation’s submission to the consultation, which closed on 15 June.

“Ministers and Mediators agree that measures are needed to help separating couples see out-of-court dispute resolution as their first stop in making settlements on money, parenting and property,” says John Taylor, Chair of the FMC.

“The government consultation explored how this aim can be best achieved. Registered Mediators have now given their considered views, which are reflected in the FMC’s response.”

“The professionals have spoken, and now it’s over to Ministers to ensure more separating families get the benefits of mediation, avoiding all the additional stress and cost that comes with going to court.”

The two-page Executive Summary of the FMC response to the consultation can be found using this link.

Its ten themes are:

  1. Encouraging Non-Court Dispute Resolution
  2. Parenting programmes to support families
  3. Culture change to enable families to reach consensual solutions
  4. Confidence in family mediation delivered by FMC Registered Mediators
  5. Voluntary participation in Mediation
  6. Compulsory Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs)
  7. Encouraging parties to adopt Mediation
  8. Standards for MIAM delivery
  9. Confidentiality and Impartiality
  10. Affordability of Family Mediation

The full FMC submission is available here.

Six online meetings were held by the FMC in April and May, giving opportunities for Accredited Mediators to help shape the organisation’s response. This was followed by a further joint meeting of the FMC and the Family Mediation Standards Board (which oversees professional standards for family Mediators), which drew together the views, in order to finalise the consultation response.