Judges having to be more active in directing court proceedings
Senior Family Court Judge supports the forms for the matrimonial legal system indicating that removing trace of blame from divorce would in practical terms make very little difference. For 30 years we have had divorce by consent. In reality many divorces go through by consent in the sense that the parties agree the grounds of unreasonable behaviour before the Petition is issued. Removing blame from the divorce would introduce “intellectual honesty” to the system and get rid of the unnecessary complexity required to prove that a husband or wife was at fault. The Judge does not believe that it would in any way undermine marriage or the sanctity of marriage. Since the 22nd April all separating couples have been required to attempt to resolve the terms of separation through mediation before they embark on costly Court hearings. The Senior Court Family Judge takes the view that many are reluctant to enter mediation and in the increase in unrepresented individuals is putting pressure on the Court system. He comments that the general public are not yet sold on the benefits of mediation which he feels demonstrates why we are almost in a crisis situation at the moment with Judges having to become more active in directing Court proceedings where couples no longer have lawyers to support them since the massive changes to the family Legal Aid system.
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