Partner and Head of the family department, Graeme Fraser has written an article in the Family Law Journal on Changing times for family law practice.
The last two years has seen us adjust to changes in family justice but as we emerge from the pandemic, we are verging on a period of rapid transformation. These developments align with wider social, cultural and legal changes. Practitioners need to be on top of the shift in client expectations for tech solutions as opposed to automatically opting for attending meetings or hearings in person. The rise of social media and cancel culture means that there is a social risk to anyone considering aggressively adversarial approaches. Society has much greater awareness of the alternatives to court-based approaches.
No-fault divorce will steer family law to become a more transactional process. Radical reform is recommended to overhaul the family justice system, which is in crisis, due to a high volume of cases with radically reduced resources in sub-optimal court settings. Trends we can expect to see developing in family legal services include hybrid mediation, parenting co-ordination and single joint advisory approaches. The pandemic speeded up the pace of change by radically shifting the expectations of families. Combining these changes with the advent of no-fault divorce mean that profound changes to family law practice may well be on the cards this year.
The article has now been published on the Family Law website. Read the full article here.