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Monday 25th November 2013 represents the start of the second Family Dispute Resolution Week. Now, unless you work within family law this probably does not mean a great deal but for anyone with even the most remote connection to family law (whether lawyer, client or friend / family to a client) it is an important event.
Resolution is a national organisation of family lawyers who are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. Family Dispute Resolution Week is an initiative launched by Resolution to promote the alternative options (such as mediation and arbitration) that are available for families who are going through separation to settle disputes without going to Court.
There are a number of benefits to utilising these options and just some of these include potential cost and time savings.
However, perhaps the most significant benefit is that both mediation and collaborative law allow the parties to gain an insight into each other’s position and play a pro-active role in reaching an agreement that is specific to their circumstances.
This is in contrast to the reality of Court proceedings where the parties rarely communicate directly in a positive way and, if the case proceeds to a final hearing, will have a decision imposed upon them by a Judge.
The effect of Court proceedings is that both parties can often be left polarised and relations between them can be left at an all time low. Where there are no children involved then, whilst this is undesirable, the consequences of this are less concerning. However, where you have two parents who are going to continue having regular contact with each other then such tensions can become a real issue.
That is not to say that alternative dispute resolution is a magic solution. It requires a great deal of hard work, commitment, self-awareness and empathy by both parties. However, if both parties are willing to try, then it can be an effective way to allow the parties to maintain a civil relationship and move on with their lives.
Our lawyers are all members of Resolution and as such follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach. We do our best to keep matters out of court.
In support of Family Dispute Resolution Week we are offering free initial consultations to discuss the options available to anyone who is separating from their partner or any issues arising from separation.
Contact us to book an appointment.