The Children and Family Court Assistance & Support Service (CAFCASS) has recently reported an increase in new private law cases. CAFCASS looks after the interests of children involved in family proceedings and works with children and their families to advise the courts on what they consider to be in the best interests of individual children.
CAFCASS received 4400 new private law cases in April 2013 which was a 28% increase on the previous year.
Research shows that continuing conflict between families can harm children. It is usually best if parents can reach an agreement out of court regarding their children’s living arrangements and the time they will spend with each parent. To avoid the court process parents could consider mediation, as a mediator will help parents reach an agreement, without being ‘on anyone’s side’.
Another alternative to the court process is the collaborative law process, where you will reach an agreement, along with a specially trained collaborative lawyer. Both parties in the separation or divorce must make a commitment to say that they will not go to court and both parties have to set some time aside to meet face to face, along with their collaborative representatives, to finalise an agreement.