Strengthening existing rules and Practice Directions to encourage earlier resolution of private family law children and financial remedy arrangements

Resolution’s response to the Family Procedure Rule Committee.

Resolution is committed to developing and promoting best standards in the practice of family law amongst both its members and amongst family lawyers in general.

We also campaign for better laws and better support for families and children undergoing family change.

Following the publication of the government consultation, the Family Procedure Rule Committee published a consultation paper that sought views on the principle of proposed amendments to the existing Family Procedure Rules and supporting Practice Directions, to encourage early resolution of private law arrangements.

Resolution responded to the consultation questions. You can find the full response here.

General comments

  • The FPRC will be aware of Resolution’s longstanding calls for:

Tailored legal advice to be available as an integral part of encouraging the use of non-court dispute resolution (NCDR) and maximising its chances of success, and to manage people’s expectations before the making of an application to court.

Respondents to also be required to attend MIAMs, subject to exemptions.

Statutory Mediation Information & Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) should be replaced with Advice and Information Meetings (AIMs) delivered by a range of suitable family justice professionals.

  • There will need to be future alignment between the Standards (the Standards) governing mediators’ conduct of Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings and any changes made further to this consultation (and the current Ministry of Justice consultation on supporting earlier resolution of private family law arrangements). Those Standards, developed by the MIAMs Working Group of the FMSB, came into force on 1 October 2022 further to consultation with the family mediation community. Resolution and the other Membership Organisations of the Family Mediation Council were consulted and participated in the MIAMs Working Group.
  • Resolution are supportive of any initiatives that have the effect of lessening the burden on the family court system by diverting appropriate cases into NCDR. However, without the NCDR process in question being properly buttressed by legal advice, it is unlikely to result in any/any long-lasting resolution.

May 2023

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