According to a survey published today by Resolution [the nationwide association of 6500 specialist family lawyers], a full 53% of the 2018 British people surveyed would prioritise making any divorce as free of conflict as they can. The survey was carried out by ComRes as part of Resolution’s Family Dispute Resolution Week which aims at highlighting the availability of non confrontational approaches to family disputes, such as collaborative law and family mediation.
However, as evidence that the collaborative law and mediation messages still have a long way to go, 45% of those surveyed, believed that most divorces inevitably involve a trip to court. Again the good news is that reality is quite different. With regard to financial issues, which are at the centre of most divorce disputes, our family law and divorce team see under 3% of them involving any form of contested final hearing – though a larger percentage do involve some element of court attendance prior to a settlement being reached.
In addition to greater public awareness of these non-confrontational approaches, recent figures provided by Resolution show that the use of family mediation actually increased by 51% in 2011 compared with 2010.
What was also interesting from the survey was that most headlines concentrated on the number of people saying children should come first in any divorce. The press release from Resolution which accompanied the release of the survey had as its headline “Four out of five people say children should come first in divorce”. What was worrying, however, was that on checking the actual survey figures, the remaining 22% did not believe that children should be put first or even second when it came to resolving a divorce! Absolutely staggering. It seems, therefore, that however keen many family lawyers are to take the heat out of divorce, and ensure that the interests of children are prioritised, a significant number of the public still don’t get it.
If you live in Wiltshire and you’re going through a divorce, civil partnership dissolution or any form of relationship breakdown or dispute, we recommend family mediation and collaborative law as positive ways to approach resolution of your problem – call our specialist lawyers today for FREE initial legal advice and a FREE 30 minute appointment.