Family Law Blog : Alternatives to Court

By: Liz Davies Family Lawyer  07/03/2014
Keywords: solicitors, law firm, Divorce

I appreciate that most of my clients or indeed most people who go through separation or divorce would prefer not to go to court and who can blame them. It is not an easy situation to find yourself in. It is costly and time consuming and at the end of the day you are leaving a major decision whether it is how often you or your partner see the children or what is to happen to your finances, in the hands of a stranger. Ok they are an experienced "stranger" but they are making a decision for you that can affect you for the rest of your life in some circumstances. Isn't it better to try and come to an agreement (wherever possible) between you that you are both happy with. I belong to an organisation called "Resolution". By joining this I have committed to their ideals which are amongst other thing, that wherever possible we will try and come to an amicable agreement as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. There are various ways in which to try and reach an agreement : (a) Sit down and talk between yourselves if possible. Some people can do this and reach an agreement. They then take advice about the agreement to make sure it is fair and reasonable and then instruct us to prepare an application to the court (after divorce proceedings have been issued and reached the half way stage) with includes a Consent Order for the judge's approval. (b) Attending Mediation - Mediation is a service where you and your former partner/spouse attend initially on your own for assessment to see if Mediation is suited to you and then together with a trained mediator to see if an agreement can be reached. Again we can help with this by providing advice as to what you can expect to receive and whether an agreement is fair and reasonable before it is made into a formal court order as above. (c) Collaborative Law - Under this process both parties appoint a collaboratively trainer lawyer and everyone meets to try and come to an agreement face to face. As the lawyer is with you at the meeting you have their support throughout. You and your lawyer agree and sign an agreement to the effect that you will not go to court but try and sort matters out this way instead. If this doesn't resolve matters though you have to find another lawyer to represent you. (d) Negotiations through solicitors : You can instruct us to try and negotiate a fair settlement between solicitors. This will mean (as with all of the above) that a financial disclosure is made prior to negotiations taking place. All of the above can be more cost effective than going to court and they provide you with control over the settlement, at least more so than going to court and being told what is going to happen. If you have any queries concerning the above please give me a call.

Keywords: Divorce, divorce lawyer, divorce solicitors, Family Law Lawyer, Family Law Solicitors, family lawyers, law firm, separation, solicitors

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