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Survey reveals lawyers views on mediation
Grant Thornton's eighth annual matrimonial survey of family lawyers has sought views on the impact of the requirement for separating couples to attend compulsory mediation.
The survey found that, following the implementation of the Family Procedure Rules in April 2010, 38% of solicitors surveyed were concerned that the requirement for couples to attend a compulsory mediation assessment meeting would place undue pressure on the weaker party to mediate.
Two thirds of solicitors (67%) also expressed concern that some parties could take advantage of the potential delays arising from the requirement for mediation assessment meetings by moving or concealing assets.
Sally Longworth, Partner at Grant Thornton's Forensic and Investigation Services practice, said:
"Although most solicitors view mediation as a positive way to resolve problems in family cases, some of the issues arising from the new rules are concerning. That individuals may be coerced into mediation by the stronger party is against the idea of mediation where participation should be voluntary and parties cooperative. The requirement for compulsory assessment meetings seems likely to have timing implications, and may give those pre-disposed to concealing assets a greater opportunity to do so."
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