Not before time. It will give both parents a chance to have their say fairly instead of having to go through the courts and pay expensive solicitors' bills.
My son is currently waiting for his solicitor's bill following his recent court hearing to gain shared custody of his children. It is likely to be costly but worth it because he did manage to get a shared residence order. The children are now aware that one parent cannot deny the other parent contact and have become more settled and relaxed over the past few months because of the court ruling.
I think the proposal for compulsory mediation makes a big assumption?
The process assumes that both parties are going to be reasonable and that there can be some movement in position / listening to reason.
In my case the ex was unable to hear any reasonable point of view and change her position of hostility which was all about "you will never see your son whilst I have control". Court ordered us back to mediation twice through the proceedings (I had already tried a collaborative approach). In cases such as this the delay from mediation adds to time and costs, and stress. The stress is also added to the child's life, which I think is the most important factor.
When one (or maybe in some cases both) of the parties will not listen to reason from Judges / CAFCASS etc, they certainly don't want to hear the sensible voice of a trained mediatior.
I do think many cases get sorted amicably without the need for Court, and for those who need some assistance collaborative law is a cheaper and more sensible option than fighting.
The costs involved in Court proceedings and the stress are horrendous. It cost me £35k to end up with a final Court Order exactly as my proposal a year earlier, and 8 days in Court. I view this on the one hand a waste of money (would get child through University in the future), but on the other hand I have managed to add something positive to my sons life i.e. someone who he loves and trusts who has joint residency(50:50).
This is bad news for me. After all how does someone who does not get publically funded (Because I am £50 above the limit and me and my ex can't help eachother out to balance that which means she is probably not funded now either as there was a massive review apaprently) DO mediation when I can't afford it. When I went all they cared about was the mortgage off my wage. Nothing else.
Sucks.. Fortunately for me I know what I want and so does my ex she just won't write anything down on her own.
Seems like a contradiction in terms to me - compulsory mediation = enforced talking through to reach a mutual amicable agreement?
If we could have "talked it through" why would we have ended up at court?
Maybe forcing people to come face to face in front of a witness makes them feel less homicidal or screaming angry?
I like the idea of a judge putting forward a written "probable outcome" report for discussion - for arrangements for children I guess - but why not also for Ancillary Relief financial claims- so at least there's something on the table to discuss?