Family Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Collaborative Law and Mediation
We believe it is almost always best to keep family disputes out of the courts. We avoid the expense, delay and stress of contested court proceedings wherever possible.
Contact our specialist family mediators today
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) can often be a more cost effective way of resolving your family matters
- It allows you both to have more control over the pace of the discussions and conclusion
- More flexible than the Court process which allows more creative solutions
- Longer lasting as often both parties feel that they have worked to reach an outcome that works for their family
Our mediation and family dispute resolution services can help you and your partner come to a joint decision about the best solution for your family in relation to your children and/or finances on separation, divorce or dissolution of your civil partnership.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that involves the appointment of a neutral, impartial third party. The mediator will help you and your partner to communicate with each other and explore options that will work for your family, in a structured way. Once you have found the right outcome for your family, this can then be set out in a Memorandum of Understanding by the mediator and converted into a legally binding document by your solicitors.
We have accredited mediators in many of our offices. You may contact them direct or ask your solicitor to make a referral. Our mediators offer in person or remote mediation using video conferencing platforms.
Our family law solicitors have a network of trusted independent mediators to whom they are happy to make referrals should that become necessary in your case.
What is arbitration?
You and your former partner appoint an independent specially trained arbitrator to make a decision for your family that will be final and binding.
You and your former partner may ask the arbitrator to deal with all of the issues in your case or just one or more distinct issues. You can also make decisions regarding the conduct of the proceedings such as whether there should be a hearing or a decision on the papers. The arbitrator will make a formal written decision (known as an award).
The main advantages to arbitration are that it is much quicker than waiting for the court to allocate hearing time to deal with your case and you will have the same arbitrator throughout.
What is collaborative law?
You and your former partner each appoint your own specially trained collaborative lawyer. You will have a series of meetings between all four of you to present and discuss options. The collaborative process allows both of you to have the benefit of independent legal advice during the meetings
You and your solicitor sign an agreement that commits you to trying to resolve the issues without going to court and prevents your solicitor from representing you in court if the collaborative process breaks down. This means that everyone is absolutely committed to finding the best solutions by agreement, rather than through court proceedings.
Many of our family law solicitors are collaboratively trained.
Round table meetings
This is an agreed meeting to try and discuss potential options for settlement with both your legal representatives present. Even if an outcome is not reached, it can help with narrowing the issues.
Private Financial Dispute Resolution hearings
You both pay for a specialist (a “Judge”) that deals with family law cases (often an experienced solicitor, barrister or retired Judge) to consider the matter after both of your legal representatives have put your case forward. In the same way a Court would, the “Judge” then gives an indication as to what they think a Court would decide on the basis of the evidence. This then allows discussions to become more focused with a view to reaching an outcome to settle the matter.
Whichever way you decide to proceed, we will accommodate your wishes and provide you with the relevant support. We have strong established relationships with a number of experts, including tax experts, accountants, Independent Financial Advisors and a range of other trusted experts. We are able to seek assistance from experts along the way if and when required.