Remove Opt-Out From Family Law Mediation

Family law, as it currently stands, encourages both sides in a marital/relationship breakdown to engage in a process of mediation and/or collaborative law prior to seeking redress through the courts. There is currently an 'opt-out' in place for spouses who have suffered Domestic Violence/Abuse. Whereas this is understandable in such genuinely unpleasant and extreme cases, there is a suggestion that many spouses are making spurious allegations of Domestic Abuse, which are subsequently withdrawn, in order to circumvent the necessity for mediation. This is predominantly being done by the Interim Resident Parent prior to any eventual residency hearing, hoping to stretch out the timeframe before the eventual hearing takes place, in order to establish a new 'status quo' which often then persuades the Court that the best interests of the child are served by leaving things as they are.

Why is this idea important?

Family law, as it currently stands, encourages both sides in a marital/relationship breakdown to engage in a process of mediation and/or collaborative law prior to seeking redress through the courts. There is currently an 'opt-out' in place for spouses who have suffered Domestic Violence/Abuse. Whereas this is understandable in such genuinely unpleasant and extreme cases, there is a suggestion that many spouses are making spurious allegations of Domestic Abuse, which are subsequently withdrawn, in order to circumvent the necessity for mediation. This is predominantly being done by the Interim Resident Parent prior to any eventual residency hearing, hoping to stretch out the timeframe before the eventual hearing takes place, in order to establish a new 'status quo' which often then persuades the Court that the best interests of the child are served by leaving things as they are.