The amendment of the Women’s Charter in 2011 made it mandatory for all couples with children below 14 years of age to go for counselling and mediation once they file for divorce. These mediation sessions aim to ensure the welfare of the children.
Child Focused Resolution Centre (CFRCs) are mediated by trained judge-mediators and family counsellors. The purpose of such counselling sessions is to allow both parties to settle issues of custody and access amicably in a non-adversarial court setting, and negotiate the dynamics of co-parenting after divorce.
CFRCs usually take place in the period between the filing of divorce papers and the first divorce hearing. In general, the process for a CFRC is:
- Filing of Process Papers
- 1st session of CFRC conference and counselling: This conference is attended by both parties’s lawyers (if any), judge-mediators and family counsellors
- Family counsellors will sit with both parties to understand more
- Subsequent mediation sessions will be available for those who need more information, or need more time to resolve custody and access issues.
- Resolution: Once both parties reach an agreement, the judge will record it and this will be binding on both parties in court
If CFRC doesn’t work out, both parties will then be required to go to court. Information shared during the CFRC will be kept confidential and will not be used in the court as evidence.
If you are looking for an experienced, good divorce lawyer to act for you, contact us to make an appointment.