The Group for Family Solutions

The Group for Family Solutions Cheshire

The UKFM Group of Mediators for Family Solutions Group Cheshire is a subcommittee of the Private Law Working Group. It is a multidisciplinary team with extensive experience working with divided families both in and out of court. We have been tasked with bringing new and focused attention to the experiences of families being separated outside of Family Court when it is safe to do so.

The matter at hand

Each year, over 280,000 children in the United Kingdom witness their parents’ separation. The manner in which those separations are managed will have a lasting effect on the rest of their lives. The current system is failing many children and their parents, which has a ripple effect across society. The financial cost of family failure to the taxpayer has increased to £51 billion per year, up from £37 billion per year ten years ago.


When parents divorce, many parents’ instinctive reaction is to portray parenting problems as legal matters. If you have a toothache, you see the dentist; if you are having a problem following a divorce, you visit the court. Too many parents who divorce on tough terms anticipate fighting over conflicting ‘rights’ rather than cooperating on shared responsibilities.

Family disintegration Cheshire is a traumatic experience. When individuals are worried and/or furious, they are particularly susceptible to manipulation. They require assistance and a strategy that directs their energy toward placing their children’s needs ahead of their own damaged feelings; an approach that keeps them out of court.

We need to transform what is perceived as ‘custody conflicts’ into long-term cooperative parenting goals. Unless there are safety issues, a kid should be allowed to have a deep and loving relationship with both parents; no parent has the right to prevent or destroy this.

How To Avoid Court Cheshire: 

A response by the ‘court system’ to parental arguments is a brutal tool for a family experiencing family collapse. With only a hammer, everything appears to be a nail. While some families do require the protection of a family court, the majority do not. Disagreements concerning children may be signs of unresolved emotions following the dissolution of a partnership, yet relational difficulties are ignored by a system created to administer justice. In practice, the adversarial structure of the court system may serve simply to exacerbate the situation, increasing family stress, and conflict.

Numerous cases currently being litigated are not legal conflicts; in fact, the usual legal remedy is ineffective, if not detrimental, for many families Cheshire. The approach is designed to emphasize the distinctions between parents, not their similarities. According to Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, “the court is not the appropriate venue for many.” It gives a field and a referee for parents to continue their adult contest”.

Avoiding Confrontation:

We are all aware that confrontation can be extremely seductive. Certain parents are regular court appearances, relying on the state to act as a third parent. The courts’ limited resources should not be used to choose which Clapham Junction platform (T v S) or which M4 junction (Re B) a kid is given over to a parent. These youngsters are entitled to better.

Things must alter. As a society, we must safeguard children and prioritize their needs and rights in any conflict between parents.

Our report makes the following key recommendations:

• A policy response. There are thirteen distinct government agencies tasked with the responsibility of a family, children, and family breakdown. We propose a more coordinated, integrated approach across government agencies to address the financial and human costs of family breakdown Cheshire.

• Modify the cultural response to estrangement. Separated parents must be guided clear of bitter legal battles. We advocate a public information and education effort with the goal of permanently altering cultural views. For example, as is the case in other countries, participation in a kite-marked Parenting Program should become the norm.

• Prioritize the children’s rights and needs in any parental separation. All data indicates that acrimonious judicial hearings have a harmful effect on children, frequently for years. A psychological injury produced by parental disagreement has been shown to have a negative effect on children’s long-term mental health and future life prospects. Children become silent victims as their voices are drowned out by adult conflict, and childhoods are often defined by the parental conflict that persists for years after any judicial process is concluded. We suggest that children aged ten and older have the right to have their voices heard.

• Point some parents in the direction of the safety pathway’. Without a doubt, certain families require assistance from the family courts, such as when abuse is reported or there is a risk of injury (perhaps because of addiction or severe mental health issues). We believe that between 20% and 25% of families fall into these categories, and in such circumstances, safety must take precedence over all other considerations. We urge that such situations be discovered early and referred to safety pathway.’ This will provide them with accessible and cheap help, as well as access to legal representation if necessary.

• Point others in the direction of the ‘cooperative parenting pathway.’ The remainder of the dialogue must be reframed so that a legal response is not the default option. In the absence of safety concerns, the goal must be to assist parents in resolving conflicts in a child-centred manner on their own. These families require a ‘cooperative parenting pathway,’ which presupposes that parental engagement is advantageous to a kid, almost always in the form of interaction with both parents. Separation can be an upsetting process, and we cannot deny the hurt and frequent anger experienced by some parents during this time. However, we are advocating for a system that examines families holistically and provides clear pathways to integrated support and therapy services that are supported (were financially eligible), and that prioritizes the voices of children. This will necessitate improved coordination of support on a local and national level. In the end, parents and their children need a more humanitarian reaction to the disintegration of relationships.

• Family law professionals and the family court interface Cheshire. The legal profession needs to gain a better knowledge of the impacts of parental conflict on children and interpersonal dynamics in general; required core training is advocated. Despite a growing sophistication of alternative dispute resolution systems, parents and their attorneys continue to cling to the court. The court is now required to carry out its responsibilities under Part 3 of the Family Procedure Rules. A proposed new Part 3 Protocol with ‘teeth’ will aid the court in encouraging and facilitating out-of-court resolutions by directing matters into out-of-court resolutions and, in some situations, refusing to hear the matter. Additional sanctions include costs orders against parties and their attorneys for unreasonable refusal to accept or participate in an out-of-court process such as mediation Cheshire.

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