• Early Neutral Evaluations

    If you are trying to agree the arrangements for your children or your finances with your spouse/ex-partner directly, it is likely that you will be greatly assisted by obtaining an informed, neutral and expert opinion as to likely outcomes were your particular case to be brought before a court. At Family Law Associates we are pleased to offer Early Neutral Evaluations directly to members of the public who are trying to resolve their issues directly, or within mediation.   An Early Neutral Evaluation is a meeting which both parties would attend, and at which both parties would have an opportunity …

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  • Children Arbitration Scheme

    In July 2016, a new Family Law Children Arbitration Scheme will be rolled out.  At present it is possible to arbitrate financial family disputes, but not matters relating to children.  The new Children Scheme will allow disputes concerning arrangements for a child and the exercise of parental responsibility to be resolved using arbitration, rather than the court system.   The benefits of arbitration are now well established in the area of financial disputes.  One of the main advantages of arbitration is the speed with which disputes can be resolved.  When children are at the centre of a dispute, resolving matters …

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  • Mediation-Arbitration – a helpful hybrid

    Mediation can be a very helpful process when a marriage breaks down. It is a process which allows people to reach solutions which they feel are best for them.   Sometimes, despite the best efforts of the parties and the mediator, it does not prove possible to agree all issues within the mediation process. There are times when some things can be agreed but others remain in dispute.   If there are things which are not agreed within mediation, the appropriate next steps need to be considered. This can sometimes be daunting for the people involved as many people believe …

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  • Resolution’s Parenting Charter

    As part of the Resolution Manifesto for Family Law, Resolution proposes a Parenting Charter which clearly sets out what children should be able to expect from their parents if they are separating, and what separating parents need to do in the best interests of their children.   This part of the manifesto differs from the other aspects (the full manifesto can be found here) as it does not call for a change in the law or public policy.  Resolution hopes that the charter will be a tool for lawyers, mediators and others working with separating couples, as well as for …

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  • Litigants in Person

    On 1st April 2013 the government withdrew legal aid for most family cases. The purported rationale behind this decision was to encourage people to use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation. This actual reason was to save money.   The problem is that where there are many cases in which ADR is appropriate, there are many cases in which it is not. It is also worth noting that even if you, as a client decide to attend mediation you will still need legal advice to understand your position and your options so that you can negotiate properly. You will …

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  • Keeping your divorce out of court

    When a relationship breaks down some people are concerned that involvement from lawyers might escalate a dispute and lead them to court. In many cases this is not true as there are a variety of options available in order to resolve matters as an alternative to court. There has been a great deal in the media about mediation and the government would like to encourage people going through a divorce to use that process in order to resolve any issues. Whilst mediation can be effective in many instances, it is not suitable for everybody and there may be many reasons …

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  • Court cases relating to children not in decline

    Litigation over children is not decreasing significantly despite the government’s push for parents to attend mediation. In April 2011, the government made it compulsory for parents to consider mediation before making an application to court in relation to arrangements for children. The idea was that parents should attend a meeting to find out about the mediation process before they could make an application to court, and that this should significantly reduce the number of court cases issued each year. However, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice, the number of cases has fallen slightly but not dramatically. In the …

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  • Arbitration in financial disputes

    In early 2012, family arbitration was introduced as a new option for resolving financial disputes in family law cases.  The process has therefore been in existence for just over two years and is still a relatively new option for clients.   Arbitration is a process tailored around the parties to a dispute but it is based on the principles of English law and it delivers a binding decision.  The parties to a dispute are able to define the issues to be determined in arbitration and can limit what it is they require the arbitrator to decide.  The decision would then …

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