Separating couples in Manchester are resolving their disputes more cheaply, quickly and less stressfully following new rules introduced by Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly. The success has been welcomed by the Government which has been working to encourage more people to resolve disputes outside court by using alternatives like mediation.
The new rules mean that anyone setting out to contest the terms of their separation in court will first be required to consider mediation. This usually takes place through a mediation awareness session, where both parties find out what the process can offer before they decide if it is right for them.
Research shows that mediation can cost a quarter of the price and take a quarter of the time of going to court. Data from Legal Aid cases show the average cost per client is £535 compared to £2,823, and that the average time for a mediated case to be completed is 110 days compared to 435 days for non-mediated cases. With two thirds of publicly funded mediation already resulting in full agreement, it can ensure better results for families too.