Newcastle Centre for Family Studies

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The Newcastle Centre for Family Studies was commissioned by The Lord Chancellor’s Department to conduct a research study of the pilot Information Meetings & Associated Provisions that formed an integral part of the Family Law Act 1996.

Part II of the Family Law Act 1996 stated that anyone who wished to apply for a divorce must attend an information meeting, where they would receive information on a variety of issues which may assist them in the decisions they needed to make regarding their relationship. Issues covered were, for example, the availability of marriage counselling, mediation, the use of solicitors, the welfare of children and the division of financial assets.

When the Act was passed, Parliament recognised that this aspect of the Act would need to be fully piloted and assessed before implementation could be considered.

The pilot for the provision of information under Part II of the Family Law Act 1996 ran between 1997 and 1999. The study was conducted in eleven geographical areas in England and Wales. The final evaluation report was published by the Lord Chancellor’s Department in January 2001.

The Lord Chancellor’s Department commissioned a follow-up study. The resulting report “Picking Up The Pieces: Marriage and Divorce Two Years After Information Provision” was published by the Lord chancellor’s Department in 2004.

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