Children will be given a greater voice in the family justice system so that they can tell judges how they feel and what they think about the family disputes in which they are involved. Sandra Meakins, a partner specialising in Family Law at Kidd Rapinet’s Farnham office said, “Children and young people must by law have their views heard before decisions are made about their future and where decisions are made that will impact them. At the moment, it is still too often the case that their views are not fully heard”.
The government has made the commitment that from the age of 10, children and young people involved in all family court hearings in England and Wales will have access to judges to make their views and feelings known.
The announcement was made by the Ministry of Justice following calls from young peoples’ representative group, the Family Justice Young People’s Board, that for too long children have been pushed and pulled through the family justice system with little or no say on what happens to them.
The government will also work with the mediator sector so that children have appropriate access to mediators in cases which affect them.
These changes to procedure will be put into place as soon as practically possible.
If you would like assistance in relation to mediation, divorce or children’s matters, call the contact for your local Kidd Rapinet office for further information:
- Aylesbury: Mark Studdart (01296 432541)
- Farnham: Sandra Meakins (01252 713242)
- High Wycombe: Catherine Banks (01494 535321)
- London: Richard Tymkiw (020 7024 8065)
- Maidenhead: Kathryn Coyle (01628 621301)
- Slough: Nathalie Wespieser (01753 532541)