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Family and Civil Cases (Support)

Volume 586: debated on Thursday 23 October 2014

The Government are committed to making sure that when people separate that they do it in the best possible way. Too many people end up fighting expensive and confrontational court battles when they could be helped to resolve their problems outside of the courts. However when people do end up in court it is imperative that they have the right advice and information.

After the major changes to the family court in April this year and the recent announcement in July of a free mediation session for separating couples, I am today announcing further initiatives to help people in the family and civil justice system. A new package of support has been developed aimed at keeping disputes away from court and providing better support for those who do end up in court.

The new support will include:

Improving online information so that it is accurate, engaging and easy to find.

A new strategy, funded by the Ministry of Justice, and agreed with the legal and advice sectors which will help to increase legal and practical support for litigants in person in the civil and family courts.

A new “Supporting separating parents in dispute helpline” pilot run by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) to test a more joined-up and tailored out-of-court service.

This package of support will help provide separating couples and court users with the information, advice and guidance they need to help settle disputes in the most appropriate and proportionate way.