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Monday, December 2, 2013

Elfyn Llywd, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, this week backed a new pledge to help ensure couples going through separation are made aware of their options, in a bid to help people resolve disputes without the need for a lengthy courtroom battle.


This commitment follows new polling published this week, showing poor awareness about alternatives to court, with only half of the British public saying they would consider alternatives to court if they were facing separation or divorce.


The pledge is spearheaded by Resolution – the body representing 6,500 family law professionals in England and Wales – and comes during Family Dispute Resolution Week, which is designed to radically increase awareness about the different ways that many people can deal with their separation.


Backing the campaign, Mr Llywd this week pledged to help constituents who approach him with problems concerning relationship break-up to get the best professional advice.


Mr Llwyd said that: “It’s crucial that people know about all their options if they’re going through the painful process of break-up, so that both partners are able to decide on the best course of action for themselves and – most importantly - any children.


“This is supported by the research published this week which shows that many people either do not know about alternatives to court or – even more worryingly – are unwilling to consider using them in the event of a break-up. Yet all the evidence shows that for many couples it can take much of the stress out of the separation process.


“Local people facing separation also need to know that they may be able to receive legal aid if they choose to seek help through mediation.


“That is why I am backing this important campaign to raise the profile and benefits of alternatives to court.”


At a Parliamentary event in Westminster this week Mr Llwyd signed Resolution’s pledge, which states:


“I pledge to help people going through separation by:

  • Letting them know there are alternatives to court
  • Encouraging them to talk to a professional about all their options to find the right solution for them and their families
  • Making sure they know that legal aid is still available for mediation”


See attached the photo of Elfyn Llwyd MP at the event in Parliament this Monday (25 Nov). Also in the photo is Sophie Hughes, Welsh spokesperson for Resolution.


The ComRes poll for Resolution surveyed over 4,000 British adults and also found that:

  • Almost four out of ten people who have separated (39%) do not know what family mediation is.
  • Just 23% of people believe that non-court based methods of divorce and separation “make the terms of the separation clear to both parties”.
  • Less than one in four (23%) think that non-court based methods of divorce “protect the rights of both parties”.
  • Just 52% of people say they think that non-court based methods of divorce and separation “are better for the wellbeing of couples”.
  • Only 50% of people say that “Non-court based methods of divorce and separation are better for the

Sophie Hughes from Resolution, said: “I am delighted that Mr Llwyd is backing this important initiative. The polling we published this week shows that there is at best a patchy understanding about alternatives to court and there is also ill-founded scepticism about the legality of non-court based solutions – a myth that we need to urgently bust.


“By pledging to help local people to seek out the best advice Mr Llwyd is playing his part in improving understanding about the options available, with has the potential to help thousands of people who are going through separation.”


The polling was commissioned as part of Family Dispute Resolution Week (November 25th – 29th 2013) during which Resolution is launching a new advice guide, providing more information about the options available for couples going through separation or divorce. This guide can be downloaded at: www.resolution.org.uk/separatingtogether




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