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'There is a desperate need to change the culture of the way divorce is ‘managed’ in our country,” says Jane Robey, National Family Mediation’s Chief Executive. “But if these new measures are to succeed in helping change the culture, Ministers need to learn from mistakes they’ve made in the recent past.'A written statement from Justice Minister Simon Hughes (23 October) outlined three main areas where the Government package will focus:
'Whilst the wish to improve online information is laudable, recent Government experience in online help for separating families does not augur well. In June 2014 Ministers admitted that the so-called ‘Sorting Out Separation’ app had cost taxpayers nearly half a million pounds, and there’s precious little evidence it’s made any difference.The Sorting Out Separation app had cost £417,500 as at 30 June 2014, according to a written Parliamentary answer published in Hansard on that date.
We cautiously welcome hearing that a new strategy will be developed to help litigants in person, and National Family Mediation very much looks forward to being involved in shaping it. Our caution is because we fear the experiences of the recent Family Mediation Taskforce might be repeated. Many people and organisations contributed to that Taskforce in what, on the face of it, appeared a root-and-branch reform.
Yet when push came to shove, the recommendations of the Taskforce were largely ignored.
Families who are facing the heartache of separation, and who hear murmurs that support is on the way, really can do without another "talking shop".'
An authoritative and practical guide which not only explains the principles and process of family...