Judith Collins announced:
More parents are resolving their disputes outside of court only months after the Government’s family justice reforms came into effect, Justice Minister Judith Collins announced today.
“Progress to date confirms our reforms are empowering people to resolve their parenting disputes outside of court, minimising the stress children often face when their parents separate,” Ms Collins says.
Since the Government’s reforms came into effect on 31 March this year, 562 assessments for the New Family Disputes Resolution (FDR) mediation service have been completed and another 530 are in progress.
Of the 122 mediations completed, 87 (71 per cent) have resolved all matters in dispute between parties, without going to court. Urgent matters, such as those involving family violence, still go straight to court.
The number of Guardianship applications to the Family Court has also dropped from 481 per week to 231 per week.
That’s great. Going to court should be the last resort for family disputes, but it was basically the first resort for any couples with parenting disputes.
“It’s fantastic to see parents making a real effort to work their problems out themselves. As a result, they avoid the unnecessary conflict, delays and expense the court process may involve, and the Family Court remains free to focus on the most serious and urgent matters.”
Mediation is much preferable to court action, except of course for cases of violence etc. This is a really encouraging trend.