As of 22nd April 2014 major changes in Family Courts will “Send a clear signal to separated parents that courts will take account of the principle that both should continue to be involved in their children’s lives where that is safe and consistent with the child’s welfare.”
Other changes are:
Making it a requirement for separating couples to attend a meeting to find out about mediation before they are allowed to take disputes over finances or child custody to court (unless exemptions apply – such as in cases of domestic violence).
Ensuring expert evidence in family proceedings concerning children is permitted only when necessary to resolve the case justly, taking account of factors including the impact on the welfare of the child.
Introducing a maximum 26 week time limit for completing care and supervision proceedings (except were an extension is needed to resolve the proceedings justly).