Non Court Dispute Resolution

The Family Procedure (Amendment No 2) Rules 2023 (SI 2023/1324) will come into force in part on 8th April 2024 and partly on 29th April 2024. This story puts the focus on Non Court Dispute Resolution (NCDRs).

The definition of NCDR at Family Procedure Rules (FPR) 2.3(1)(b) has been widened to mean ‘methods of resolving a dispute other than through the court process, including but not limited to mediation, arbitration, evaluation by a neutral third party (such as a private FDR process) and collaborative law’.

Stowe Family Law have provided a brilliant breakdown on the new FPRs impacting NCDRS which you can read here.

The amended FPRs are available here, but ones to take note on are:

FPR 3.3(1A)

FPR 3.9 (2)(e)

FPR 3.4(1A)

FPR 28.3(7)

Marc Etherington, Legal Director & Collaborative Family Lawyer at Rayden Solicitors, shared the following about NCDRs over on LinkedIn. With thanks to Marc for letting us share this with our Today’s Family Lawyer readers, as we know it is important.

See the original LinkedIn post here.

“I really hope the forthcoming amendments to the Family Procedure Rules in April 2024 regarding Non Court Dispute Resolution (NCDR), will have the impact in encouraging parties to explore and utilise the sensible tools that are available to resolve family disputes.

There has been a focus on mediation especially which is great, but so many creative and sensible options are available. I personally hope this shall result in more professionals wanting to complete the collaborative training and thereby a collaborative mindset becoming the norm.

Compared to the court process, NCDR would save time, money and offer a more dignified process.

There shall of course be those situations when court is unavoidable but even then, some of those can be dealt with by arbitration that, again, can save time and money.

If the new amendments are implemented by family justice professionals and the judiciary, this should reduce the court backlog and lead to the court dealing with those urgent cases that require their assistance.

Really appreciate those that have delivered articles and webinars on this subject in recent weeks.👏

Hopefully exciting times ahead.”

Marc currently sits on the Resolution’s Parenting After Parting, London Region and Wellbeing Committees. In 2023 Marc was elected onto the Resolution Board by fellow Resolution members.

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