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

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  • 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.

Solicitor referral forms

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Our services

Other family law services

Family solicitors
From prenuptial agreements to cohabitation agreements, from separation and divorce to domestic abuse. At RWK Goodman, we are here to support you whenever you need it most.
Domestic abuse solicitors
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship it can be extremely hard to find a way out. If you or a member of your family are a victim of domestic abuse it is important that you contact our team today.
Injunctions and emergency remedies
On some occasions the best way to protect yourself or your loved ones against unwanted access to your information or finances is to apply for an injunction. Our team are well placed to issue court proceedings in an emergency.
International family law
In the event of a relationship breakdown, complications may arise due to the differences in family law between two or more countries. Those issues may involve cross jurisdictional divorces, financial settlements, and the international movement of children.
Pre and post-nuptial agreements
No one goes into a marriage thinking that it won’t work out, but unfortunately it’s the sad reality that more than one in three marriages end in divorce. A prenuptial agreement can be a simple but effective way to safeguard your interests should your marriage breakdown.
Separation and divorce solicitors
Whether you are going through a separation or divorce we recognise that this will be exceptionally stressful at any stage of your life. There are options available to suit all budgets and we can talk you through any options or concerns.
Children Disputes
There is no negotiation more difficult than those surrounding children. We can help separating parents put their children’s needs first, achieving the best result for you and your children, quickly and sensitively.
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