A new package of support aimed at helping people in the family and civil justice system has been announced by the Government.
As part of the new support package, the Government will improve online information for separating couples including on the websites ‘Sorting Out Separation’ and GOV.UK to make sure these include all key information and guidance.
In addition, a court support service for litigants in person will be introduced in civil and family cases. The service will begin in selected court centres with the aim of rolling out across England and Wales.
A free phone ‘supporting separating parents in dispute helpline’ pilot will start in November and run for six months, aimed at separating parents who have been unable to resolve disputes and want to avoid court battles over their children or who need help in doing so. The helpline, run by Cafcass, will put callers through to an experienced professional who will act as their single point of contact throughout the dispute.
“All of us in the family justice system are negotiators now,” comented Anthony Douglas CBE, Cafcass’ Chief Executive. “In this pilot, we’ll be using our in-court skills before court in the community, providing an out of court service to separated parents who are unable to resolve their disputes around the kitchen table, because of the powerful emotions involved – a sense of betrayal, hatred or being broken-hearted.”
“We will be trying to re-focus parents on the needs of their children who are often lost in the storm, particularly where their parents are drifting into dispute addiction,” he added.
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