Divorce or separation can be difficult - emotionally, practically and often financially. In these circumstances court is not the first option or indeed the only option to resolve your differences.

For family disputes, Dispute Resolution is an alternative to court and can be a quicker and more cost-effective, tailor-made approach.

Types of Dispute Resolution include:

  • mediation - A neutral trained mediator (who does not give advice) is appointed by the parties to facilitate face-to-face discussions on all family issues and help reach an outcome acceptable to both. Family mediation helps you sort out your disputes about your children and your finances where you are separating. Our mediators can help you both find practical solutions that you both can live with
  • collaborative process - Both parties appoint collaboratively trained lawyers (who give advice). Clients and lawyers work together as a team to reach a settlement. All sign a binding agreement at the start not to go to court, other than for approval of the order. Other counselling, children or financial professionals may also be involved. Our collaborative lawyers undertake all negotiations during face-to-face four-way meetings
  • Early Neutral Evaluation/ Private Financial Dispute Resolution - The parties involved appoint a private judge to provide a view of the possible outcome if the case were to go to trial:
    • Private Financial Dispute Resolution (PFDRs) Appointments - The PFDR judge is appointed by both parties to help reach a settlement. The judge’s role remains neutral throughout and the parties are able to keep control of the process and progress at their own speed. The process is confined to financial issues and assures total confidentiality. We have specialist lawyers to represent you through PFDR and can carefully guide you this process
    • Early Neutral Evaluation - Both parties jointly instruct a neutral solicitor early to evaluate each side’s position through a confidential ‘evaluation session’. The evaluation is not binding, but is made available to both parties to consider. Our lawyers can undertake neutral evaluations of all aspects of a financial case or can just deal with a single issue where necessary
  • arbitration - Parties appoint their own arbitrator to adjudicate on financial and children issues (dealt with separately) on which they can’t reach agreement. This method is highly flexible and effective at dealing with disputes. It is entirely confidential, saves time (there is no need to wait for a court date) and is tailor-made to suit all parties. We have extensive experience in family work spanning 25 years and can provide family arbitration for any children, financial and property dispute arising from a family relationship
  • court process - This might still be the only viable option where there is fraud, abuse or implacability on the part of either or both parties

We can help you decide which approach works best for you and your situation. Many forms of Dispute Resolution can be tried even if a court case has already started. It is rarely too late to find an alternative way other than court to resolve your differences.

We have a wealth of experience in dealing with family issues; visit our family and children page to find out more.