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' I am committed to making sure that when people separate that they do it in the best possible way. Too many people end up fighting expensive and confrontational court battles and I am determined that more people resolve their problems outside of the courts.A court support service for litigants in person will be introduced in civil and family cases. The service will begin in selected court centres with the aim of rolling out across England and Wales. The service will help those who need to go to court to access practical support and information and provide them with a route to free or affordable legal advice.
'However when people do end up in court it is imperative that they have the right advice and information. One of my priorities when I became a Minister was to improve the availability of legal advice, and these new measures will make sure that separating couples and parents are able to access the right advice, information and support at the right time.The government will improve online information for separating couples including on the websites "Sorting Out Separation" and GOV.UK to make sure these include all key information and guidance.'
' This strategy will make an increasing difference over time for LIPs. It builds on existing models and experience in England and Wales and brings resources together in the way that enables them to be more effective for LIPs.They will talk through the difficulties being faced, assess what support the parent needs and will offer impartial information and guidance. This will include putting callers in touch with the relevant local professionals and support services, including mediation. Cafcass will follow-up with the parent to see how efforts to resolve the dispute are progressing and, if necessary, will provide further assistance.
'The strategy puts the LIP at the heart of things and exemplifies the coordination and collaboration that the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Coordinating Committees have always sought to facilitate. The result is to unlock more assistance to the public. I congratulate all who have been involved in bringing the strategy about. We must now be patient for it to build.A free phone ‘supporting separating parents in dispute helpline’ pilot will start in November and run for 6 months, aimed at separating parents who have been unable to resolve disputes and want to avoid court battles over their children or who need help in doing so. The helpline, run by Cafcass, will put callers through to an experienced professional who will act as their single point of contact throughout the dispute.'
' All of us in the family justice system are negotiators now. In this pilot, we’ll be using our in-court skills before court in the community, providing an out of court service to separated parents who are unable to resolve their disputes around the kitchen table, because of the powerful emotions involved – a sense of betrayal, hatred or being broken-hearted. We will be trying to re-focus parents on the needs of their children who are often lost in the storm, particularly where their parents are drifting into dispute addiction.
'The pilot is an example of the family justice system adapting to litigants in person rather than them having to navigate a complex system unsupported. We will also be coordinating and building up community services in the pilot areas, aiming to have in place affordable community support services which remain viable even when budgets continue to be under extreme pressure.'
Explains the impact on ancillary relief of bankruptcy and personal insolvency