We are specialists in what is known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
As experienced lawyers, we will always work to resolve your case swiftly, cost effectively and conclude it without going to court if possible. We are all members of Resolution and committed to adopting constructive methods to resolve disputes.
Beyond this core commitment, there are formal processes which can resolve disputes without recourse to the court. The two main routes are mediation and arbitration. We can advise you on what these processes involve, whether they are appropriate for your case and which Is likely to achieve the best outcome for you.
Mediation is a positive tool to help parties make their own informed decisions, rather than having decisions imposed on them by the court.
A Mediator is a neutral third party, usually a barrister or solicitor with extensive family law experience. You and your partner work with a mediator to resolve specific points of dispute. The mediator encourages constructive discussion & helps you reach a consensual settlement. They do not provide legal advice to either party.
Mediations are usually structured over a series of meetings. Mediation can help resolve most disputes including financial arrangements on divorce/separation, arrangements concerning children and disputes between cohabitants.
If we are already providing legal advice, we can refer you to the right mediator to help resolve your particular dispute(s). We will provide legal advice and support throughout the process.
Arbitration enables couples, whether married or not, to resolve disputes that they have not be able to agree through mediation or solicitor negotiation. Parties often agree to withdraw from court proceedings and to arbitrate to ensure a final and binding decision is made in good time and in experienced hands (arbitrators are all experienced barristers or solicitors).
Arbitration can be used for the entire process or to resolve specific issues which may be preventing overall settlement of the case. An arbitrator can be appointed to resolve financial disputes and disputes concerning most children matters, although it does not cover disputes involving local authorities or cross–border issues (like international relocation).
The process is simple. You agree to appoint an arbitrator (or one is chosen by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators) to adjudicate on the points in dispute and impose a solution, known as an “award”. An award will be binding in the same way as a court order.
Joe is a trained arbitrator.
There is more on the routes open to you on Resolution’s website or you can talk to any of us and we can explain the options.