A new scheme has been launched to encourage the use of arbitration in family disputes involving the welfare of children.

The Family Law Arbitration Children Scheme was set up four years ago to help families resolve financial issues. Now the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators, which runs the scheme, wants to extend it to cover disputes concerning the exercise of parental responsibility.

The kind of issues covered include where children should live, how much time they should spend with each parent and relocation in England and Wales. The scheme has been developed by a multi-disciplinary team of leading family lawyers.

The Chair of the Institute, Lord Falconer, said: “The new children arbitration scheme will enable couples to resolve disputes concerning parental responsibility of children more quickly, cheaply and in a more flexible, less formal setting than a court room.

“It will also guarantee confidentiality where that is required or necessary. These are all important ingredients to minimising conflict and supporting the best interests of children.”

Nigel Shepherd, Chair of the family law group Resolution, said: “’Resolution is committed to helping separating families find the best approach to resolving issues. Since its launch, arbitration has provided couples with a speedy, flexible and cost-effective way to sort their finances where they cannot reach agreement.”

Arbitration has helped thousands of families resolve complicated issues in a way that reduces stress and heartache for all concerned, particularly children.

Please contact us if you would like more information about our arbitration services or any aspect of family law.