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Children to be heard in family disputes

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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.Liz Graham, a partner and head of the Family Department at Chattertons Solicitors 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 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 Liz on 01529 411500 for further information.