Couples who have only recently decided to separate may find themselves having to self-isolate with their former partner which will no doubt be very difficult and stressful.
When it comes to divorce, going to court might be what you initially want to do but it comes with risk and cost.
Of course, if the case needs court management and ruling, we will advise you to issue proceedings but if this is not the case we will explore alternative options available to you to resolve the dispute.
The most on-trend process is Collaborative law. This is a process where both parties commit to resolving their conflicts without resorting to court proceedings. Supported by trained collaborative lawyers, parties sit together, usually face-to-face and attempt to reach an agreement. The benefit of this process is that the lawyers supporting their clients in this process agree not to take the case to court - meaning that if the process fails, the parties need new lawyers and this factor seems to encourage parties to settle.
Mediation has now been popular in family law for about 10 years. Again, parties sit face-to-face and try and reach an agreement. They are assisted by an independent lawyer, the mediator, who will guide their discussions and negotiations. The parties will not be held to any agreement reached in mediation, until each party agrees to its terms with the benefit of their own separate legal advice.
Arbitration is the newest process to family law – although for commercial disputes it is a process that has been around since the late 1800s. The parties must together elect a private Arbitrator who acts like a Judge to resolve their dispute, and the case is managed by the parties however they agree. The parties agree to be bound by the Arbitrator’s decision. The parties agree who is to be the Arbitrator – so they know they are getting an expert. The beauty of this process is that if the parties have agreed the majority of issues but are apart on one or two discrete issues, these can be quickly resolved without the full court process having to be engaged, and the Arbitrator is an expert in family lawyer which cannot be said for all family judges.
For further information, see Amy’s blogs:
- What is Arbitration?
- “In the event of an emergency secure your own oxygen mask first, before helping others with theirs”
and Justine’s blog:
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