Many separating couples hope to reach agreement in relation to children, financial affairs or both without the need to go to Court and this is definitely much more possible now than ever before with family mediation and collaborative law methods.
Mediation can be a useful tool in assisting couples reach agreement, creating a neutral environment with a skilled mediator to guide and assist.
Navdip Dhariwal, head of the family law department would be pleased to provide advice as to whether this is an appropriate course of action in your circumstances.
In relation to relationship breakdown, many clients find it most effective if mediation is sought at an early stage. Separate legal advice is also encouraged and should a solution be reached during mediation then the appointed solicitor can draw up a legally binding agreement.
In relation to children, many parents do not wish a Court officer to become involved, interviewing the children and reporting to the judge. Mediation therefore provides a sensible alternative, creating an appropriate setting to discuss and work through sensitive and important issues.
Collaborative law is a process which takes place outside the court system and is therefore sometimes called ‘no court divorce’.
In contrast to mediation however, both parties have a solicitor who work together to facilitate principled negotiations.
Both parties sign an agreement not to go to court and to resolve issues through negotiation.
A series of round table meetings are then arranged with your lawyer, your partner and your partner’s lawyer.
The collaborative process in many circumstances avoids the stress and acrimony of going to court and reduces costs.
The procedure is client-centred enabling you to determine with your partner the shape of your future and finding the right solutions for the family as a whole.
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