We recognise that when relationships break down there are a lot of emotions involved and that quite frequently there are issues arising that can be very difficult to sold. Not only this, but going to court to solve these issues can run high costs and be extremely time consuming however, there are alternative methods to resolving these disputes.
This is an alternative method to the traditional adversarial approach, it is designed the control the stress and pain of the whole situation in a more dignified manner. It operates with a series of face to face meetings where the agenda is set by the clients and aimed at resolving issues that either party has after the relationship breakdown. Each party is assisted by their own Solicitor, with their own legal advice to work out difficult issues such as anything to do with children or finances as the risk to court involvement would threaten the process.
It also allows the involvement of counsellors, accountants, financial advisers and estate agents in tricky situations without adversarial techniques. We often find that this can speed up processes when involving third parties.
The process is not timetabled and you are allowed to have as many meetings as each party sees fit however, if it transpires that despite everyone’s best efforts an agreement can not be made this way then they must instruct new Solicitors to represent them in the following traditional court proceedings.
It has a very high success rate based on the fact that each client controls the speed and the process of the whole process and at each stage maintains a greater input to the solution rather than the traditional approach. If agreements can not be made or specialist advise is needed between the couple than specialist third parties can be involved at meetings and discuss issues that a court may or may not involve in the case. If it is successful there is no need for further litigation, each agreement can be moulded to the client’s wishes and needs and this adds to the flexibility of the whole process.
However, the only problems that may arise during the process is that if agreements can not be made then subsequent Solicitors have to be represented for further court proceedings, this can implement further and higher costs. It is not suitable in domestic violence cases and therefore will not be encouraged.
Mediation is a private, impartial, solution-focused process which is implemented by an independent mediator in where the goal is to resolve issues without the need for the court.
Mediators will not provide legal advise throughout the process, but they do provide information and options to help each party resolve their own issues in ways that are effective for them. They are trained to preserve relationships and the make the best and most practical arrangements for the future.
It can be used as a method to resolve most issues in family law, but as in Collaborative Law would be avoided in all cases,which involved domestic violence. If mediation is successful it is often very important at the end to seek an independent third party who can ensure the agreement is fair and that the consequences are understand and to be bound in a court of law.