By Evie Andreou
THE institution of the family law arbitrator is to be voted in parliament before the summer recess, the House Law committee said yesterday.
The committee discussed the bill on family law arbitrators in the presence of Children’s rights commissioner Leda Koursoumba, who was in charge of its preparation.
The head of the committee, Sotiris Sampson, said that the bill regulates a very serious matter and was long overdue.
“It is a social need and the delay has resulted in unnecessary problems,” Sampson said.
The arbitrator is expected to reduce the time and cost of dispute between estranged couples and will work to the benefit of children.
Family law arbitrators will contribute so that consenting solutions are found between the couples.
Sampson said that the arbitrator will offer good offices so that the involved parties realise the essence of their problems and they reach an agreement, something that translates in less court room time, less costs and will not burden children.
He said that the agreement will then be submitted to the court for a final decree.
DIKO MP Antonis Antoniou said that in other countries, the institution is implemented in 80 per cent of cases.
As arbitrators will be able to act as both lawyers and psychologists that receive special training, Antoniou said that the list of professions eligible for the job must be broadened.
Had the institution been implemented sooner, many problems that torture parents and end up ruining the lives of children could have been prevented, Koursoumba said.
She said that the arbitration will take place during the divorce’s legal procedure or earlier on a voluntary basis.
The arbitration period would be two months, Koursoumba said and the court can give extension. She added that a legal procedure today lasts three to four years, costs thousands of euros and that if all these that cause anger and rivalry are resolved by a person that is specialised on the matter, the child will be the one to benefit the most.