25 November 2015

Different approaches to resolving family disputes

Lisa Boileau Partner & Head of Family

In her latest blog article, Lisa Boileau - partner and head of family law - takes a look at alternative ways of resolving issues in the case of divorce or family breakdown.

In the case of a divorce or family breakdown, you do not always have to go to Court to resolve issues regarding your finances and children. New approaches have been developed to ease the pressures which can provide a cost-effective and speedier route to resolving matters.

The mediation approach

both sides first meet separately with an impartial legally trained independent mediator. If you both wish to proceed, then a joint appointment is set up with the mediator to discuss financial or children issues. Mediation can provide you with a safe, private and neutral environment to discuss and explore your issues and identify available options and solutions to resolve your difficulties in an amicable, supportive manner away from the Court.

You can then have your proposed solution checked by a solicitor of your choice and you can elect to have your agreement put into a binding Court Order where appropriate.

The Arbitration approach

If you cannot manage to find and reach an amicable agreement to resolve your issues directly and need someone to make the decision for you, but do not wish to go to Court, then you can take your case before an independent arbitrator. Once the Arbitrator has examined the information produced during the arbitration process and heard evidence and submissions from both sides as to their respective positions and views, they will be able to impose a legally binding decision and solution on you both.

Arbitration is flexible, adaptable and cost effective. You can choose which Arbitrator will decide your case and you can agree how and when your case is dealt with, where the arbitration meetings will take place and the timescale and fees involved in resolving matters. Arbitration offers a bespoke service which resolves financial matters (but presently not children issues) in an entirely private setting, and provides a legally binding decision, which enables you to move forward with your lives.

Mediation and Arbitration are modern alternatives to contested Court proceedings. If you would like to find out more about these initiatives, please contact me or any member of the family law team.

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