Divorce and separation can be difficult at the best of times, and people deal with the challenges of the situation very differently. One person may feel able to make good, long term decisions very quickly, whilst another person may need time before they are able to think clearly and plan for their changing future.

Here at Farleys we support clients with many different approaches to handle their separation in the best way possible for them as individuals. Each couple will approach their separation differently and we can advise on the most appropriate, cost effective and efficient method.

There are many alternative ways to settle matters without the need for costly and exhausting Court proceedings;

Informal private discussions – where you and your partner discuss and agree matters privately. You can decide to instruct solicitors at any stage of the process to seek advice about the basis of the agreement, or to prepare legally binding documents that reflect your agreement once it has been reached.

Mediation – where you and your partner meet with a trained mediator who can ensure that your discussions do not lose focus and are as effective as possible in addressing any issues. At any time during the mediation process you can seek advice or to prepare legally binding documents that reflect your agreement once it has been reached.

Collaborative – where you both instruct collaborative lawyers and you both attend meetings with your respective lawyers present. You have the continued support of your solicitor who will be with you at all meetings throughout the process. You have control of the times, venue and agenda for each meeting which can prove to be empowering and allows you to be in control of the decisions affecting your future. Both parties commit to reaching a solution without issuing court proceedings.

Arbitration – where you appoint an arbitrator who will consider each parties’ position and views, and will then make a decision that is binding upon both parties. The approach is less formal than a court hearing and you can be in control of the venue and timing.

Lawyer negotiations – where your solicitor will negotiate through correspondence and base the expected outcome on their experience of outcomes had the matter been heard at court by a Judge. This approach can take place along side informal discussions and mediation.

Court – where a formal application is lodged with the Court and a timetable is given to the case. Both parties must attend hearings that are listed at the convenience of the court timetable and the decision will be what the Judge thinks is fair and reasonable. The Judge’s discretion is far reaching and there could be a number of outcomes to a case that would all fall into the category of reasonable.

The risk that court proceedings will conclude with an order that you are not happy with should be given careful consideration. In many cases the final order is not what either party invited the court to make, and leaves both in a position where the decision was taken out of their hands and the outcome was not what they had hoped for themselves or their family.

There are many alternative dispute resolution options available which should be considered in order to reach early resolution in a cost effective manner that allows you to move forward. Should you like to discuss any of the options mentioned above please contact a member of our dedicated family law team on 0845 050 1958. Alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.