Hi everyone and welcome to Bristol Grandparents Support Group blog. Although we are Bristol based we have grandparents from all over the UK and beyond as members.

It is estimated that over one million children in the UK are denied contact with their grandparents due to family breakdown which may have been caused by divorce/separation, alcohol/drug dependency,domestic violence,bereavement or family feud.
Every child has the right to have contact with their grandparents
if they wish and unless proven unsafe for them to do so. To deny contact from a parent or grandparent has to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
I hope to keep you up to date with what is going on in BGSG and I shall continue to campaign for the rights of children to have a loving and meaningful relationship with both parents and their extended family. So please join in as good to hear your views, not just mine!
I also will support via Skype.
There is no membership fee to be part of Bristol Grandparents Support Group.
Esther Rantzen says, " To every grandparent, links of love can never be broken in our hearts."

Please contact during office hours.

Friday 4 February 2011

Family Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings

Family Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings


A Pre-application Protocol for family mediation information and assessment meetings is being introduced from April 2011. This will help the public become aware of mediation and understand how it could support them going through separation and divorce.

Family mediation can help some people reach a resolution where there is a family dispute. It can help in private law disputes between parents relating to children, with such disputes often best resolved through discussion and agreement, where that can be managed safely and appropriately.

Key Points

• Those wishing to make an application to court, whether publicly funded or otherwise, will have to first consider, as appropriate, alternative means of resolving their disputes.

• From April 2011, all potential applicants for a court order in relevant family proceedings will be expected, before making their application, except in certain specified circumstances, to consider with a mediator whether the dispute may be capable of being resolved through mediation.

• The court will expect all applicants to comply with the protocol before commencing proceedings and if court proceedings are taken, the court will wish to know at the first hearing whether mediation has been considered.

• In considering the conduct of any relevant family proceedings, the court will take into account any failure to comply with the protocol and may refer the parties to a meeting with a mediator before the proceedings continue further.

• Not everyone intending to issue court proceedings would fall within the scope of the requirement. For instance, family proceedings in relation to domestic violence, or in relation to emergency proceedings, will be expressly outside the scope of this requirement.

• No party will be required to mediate, rather they will be asked to attend a meeting to learn about mediation. This will allow parties to make informed decisions about how they seek to resolve their disputes.

• In the unlikely event, a publicly funded person’s solicitor is unable to find a mediation service in their vicinity capable of providing a meeting within a 10 day timeframe they can ask the Legal Services Commission to exempt that person from the requirement. Exemption for privately funded clients will be the same. In general, most of the population does live within 15 miles of a mediation service.

Signposting to:

The Family Mediation Helpline and its website will be closing on 31 March. We therefore advise that if you promote it within leaflets or websites then you will need to signpost to from 1 April:

http://www.direct.gov.uk: Information on family mediation and service locator can be found on the government website – Directgov. (easiest way is to do a search using the key words, ‘family mediation directgov’); and

• Community Legal Advice direct helpline: 0845 345 4345.

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