1st Edition

Conciliation in Separation and Divorce Finding Common Ground

By Lisa Parkinson Copyright 1986

    Originally published in 1986, reissued here with a new preface, this study of the origins and early development of family conciliation services in Britain outlines their philosophy, methods of work and reported results, illustrated with case examples. The examples demonstrate that disputes between separating and divorcing couples involve complex personal and family problems as well as legal ones, and that the practice of conciliation needed to be set in the context of current changes in family law and court procedures. At the time many solicitors and courts were adopting a settlement-seeking approach in matrimonial cases rather than a sharply adversarial one, and the complementary roles of solicitors and conciliators gave rise to dilemmas in practice, as well as offering potential advantages.

    This book draws a parallel between the work of ACAS in industrial disputes and the similar approach of family conciliation services, but points out that there are also major differences. It also shows how the experience of conciliation practice gained in other countries throws some useful light on the questions being raised in Britain. Research findings from Australia, Canada and the United States are used in discussing the future of conciliation in the short and longer term, and in looking at the possible development of alternative methods of resolving disputes.

    New Preface for the Reissue.  Foreword.  Acknowledgements.  Introduction.  1. The Legal Process of Divorce in England and Wales  2. Separate Courts and Separate Remedies  3. Dispute Settlement and Conciliation  4. The Development of Divorce Conciliation in Britain  5. Conciliation: Systems and Methods  6. The Role of the Conciliator in Separation and Divorce  7. Unequal Bargaining Power in Conciliation  8. Some Difficulties and Contradictions in Conciliation  9. Measuring the Results of Conciliation: Some Findings and Observations  10. Recent Developments in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  Appendix A: Code of Practice for Family Conciliation to Services.  Appendix B: List of Services Affiliated to the National to Family Conciliation Council and Voluntary to Organisations Associated with Conciliation.  Appendix C: Solicitors’ Family Law Association Code of Practice.  References.  Index.


    Lisa Parkinson