National awareness raising week – Choosing the right process
There are a number of different processes you could consider to resolve areas in dispute.
There are a number of different processes you could consider to resolve areas in dispute. Our family solicitors focus on disputes concerning children, but the same processes are available to assist resolving financial disputes, save that the court process is different for financial disputes.
1. Direct discussion; you can negotiate with your ex partner directly regarding the arrangements for the children, with or without professional support. This can be the cheapest way to agree arrangements but it may not be the easiest if communication between you is difficult and emotions are running high. You may wish to engage a Resolution solicitor for advice as and when you may need it so that you have some basic support.
2. Mediation; mediators are trained to help resolve disputes about any issues faced by couples who are separating, including arrangements for the children generally or specific issues relating to the children. Mediators are neutral and are there to facilitate discussion between you. Some Resolution mediators are also qualified to work with children in mediation if you feel this could be useful and appropriate. We have a number of trained family mediators within the Family team at Trethowans if you think this is a process you might be interested in.
3. Collaborative approach; within the collaborative process, each person appoints their own lawyer trained in collaborative approach and you all meet together to work things out. The process is led by you so can be built around the timetable of the family and the agendas are set by you. You also have the opportunity to work with a family consultant or a child specialist if you feel it would be useful. You and your team would sign an agreement in this process that commits you to trying to resolve the issues without going to court, meaning that everyone is committed to finding the best solutions by agreement. We have a number of collaboratively trained lawyers within the Family team if you think this is a process you might be interested in.
4. Solicitor negotiation; if you find it difficult to communicate directly and you do not feel comfortable sitting in the same room as your ex partner you could seek assistance through solicitor correspondence and we can put forward your proposals and objectives in a constructive and non-confrontational way.
5. Arbitration; family arbitration was developed to enable parties to resolve disputes more quickly, cheaply and in a more flexible and less formal setting than in a courtroom. You would agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator and usually the decision of the arbitrator is encompassed into a court order which is then enforceable. You can agree the process and work the timetable around the family, tailoring it to your needs and requirements. The arbitrator would also specialise in children work if it is a children dispute you are arbitrating.
6. Court process; if you cannot agree the arrangements or you cannot agree on a process, either of you could issue contested court proceedings, which would put a particular procedure in place and force the other to engage and comply with court imposed deadlines. The Judge will consider a wide range of factors when hearing children disputes but fundamentally will make a determination that they consider to be in the best interests of the children.
Our Family Law solicitors are among the best in the South. If you have a legal matter that requires the expertise of one of our dispute resolution lawyers, contact us today on 0800 2800 421. We have law offices in Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and Winchester to meet your requirements.