Collaborative Parenting ‘Not A One-Size-Fits-All’ Issue

Family Lawyer Calls For New £14m Fund To Be Used Wisely

02.07.2012

A new Government fund for investment in pioneering support services to promote collaborative parenting to families going through the pain of separation must be used in a manner which does not lead to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the issue, according to family law experts.

The Department for Work and Pensions has this week launched a new £14 million fund which will be used to develop ‘effective and innovative’ services for separated parents to help them make the best arrangements for the wellbeing of their children.

No specific details have yet been released about plans, although some reports have suggested that part of the fund will be invested in the creation of an app that parents could download to guide people through process of amicably approaching the issue of separation.

The creation of the fund has been broadly welcomed by family law experts at Irwin Mitchell, although the team has emphasised the importance of ensuring such vital funds are used appropriately.

Alison Hawes, a Partner and family lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office, commented: “Any scheme that offers parents both support and advice which will ensure that the welfare of children is put first in a divorce or separation is a huge positive.

“However, it is absolutely vital that any new developments are put together in a manner which acknowledges that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to this topic.

“Every person who goes through divorce or separation is different and guidance needs to reflect that circumstances are often incredibly varied. The idea of an application, which has been widely reported, may be viewed by some people as undermining the complexity of such situations.

“There is no substitute for real people getting help in very real situations, whether it is legal advice or general support through the process of mediation and drawing up legal agreements to safeguard the welfare of children.

“It is important that the Government remains sensitive to this very important point as it considers how to use this new funding.”