There are three ways to approach the resolution of issues arising from divorce or separation. As experts in family law, we will endeavour to help you control your legal costs while achieving your preferred solution.
Until recently, many people followed the traditional route, going through the court process, but courts now encourage people to attempt to resolve their disputes through mediation. With our advice, you can make the best possible decision.
Mediation is intended to resolve family disputes without going through the court procedure.
Davina is a solicitor, and as such can provide you with appropriate legal advice. She is also a mediator, trained through Resolution. We understand that mediation, carefully managed, often makes clients feel they have been more in control of resolving the issues arising from their relationship breakdown.
A mediator’s role is not advisory. The mediator is to remain neutral, give information, offer encouragement, and facilitate an agreement. The mediator will meet with each party separately, during an introductory meeting. The aim of this is to ensure that you will be comfortable with the process, and that mediation is suitable in your particular circumstances.
Davina will then meet you and the other party together. On this occasion, her role will be to identify the issues which are in dispute, and help you reach an agreement.
Mediation is particularly helpful with issues which arise regarding children and finances. If you are considering separating, a mediator can help you to work out a separation plan, which will include when, and how, to inform your children.
The mediation process usually takes approximately 3 – 5 meetings, and can prove very cost effective. We recommend that each of you obtain independent legal advice, alongside the mediation process.
Our charges are paid on a session basis at the end of the session. Davina will draw up a memorandum of the agreement, and your solicitor will prepare the court order. A charge will be made for the memorandum.
Davina is a Resolution-trained collaborative lawyer. The purpose of collaborative law is to attempt to resolve disputes without going through lengthy court procedure. Collaborative law originates in the USA. It is often effective where the parties in dispute would prefer a private forum for dealing with the issues in question, but their assets are sufficient to require that they have legal representation. It can help with issues such as arrangements for children and finances, as you finalise your separation.
Each party involved in the dispute appoints his or her own lawyer, and the parties (and their lawyers) meet to work out a way of resolving their issues. If the issues are correctly identified, this process can prove cost-effective.
It the process is unsuccessful, and you have to go to court, you will each need to appoint a new solicitor.
We have successfully represented many clients through the traditional process of the First Appointment and Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing.
We try to reach an agreement without the parties having to attend court, but when necessary, if no agreement can be reached, we will take a strong and robust approach to the litigation process. We are also aware that it may be helpful for there to be a structured timetable to ensure resolution is reached within a reasonable period of time, and the court process provides this. The court process can also provide a means for one party to obtain financial disclosure from the other party, if they are not willing to provide it voluntarily.