Today marks the state of Family Dispute Resolution Week. This event is held each year by family law organisation Resolution to raise awareness of the various alternatives to confrontational court appearances for resolving family conflict.
Once upon a time Resolution was known as the Solicitors Family Law Association. It works to highlight mediation, arbitration and collaboration, all of which can help steer family disputes away from the courtroom and the risk of a winners versus losers outcome: often the very last thing that is needed in the midst of the emotional turbulence of divorce, separation or disputes over the children.
Resolution now has more than 6,500 members, including a number of the solicitors here at Stowe Family Law.
Personally I am a strong supporter of arbitration in particular, which offers some significant advantages over other alternatives to court: it legally binding for one thing, and it will be overseen by an experienced legal professional – a solicitor, barrister or even former judge. At the same time arbitration is usually cheaper and quicker than a journey through the courts.
A few years back I put my money where my mouth is and became one of the very first people in the UK to become a family law arbitrator. I am now a member of both the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and I do whatever I can to shine a spotlight onto this particular alternative to the courtroom.
Read more about Family Dispute Resolution Week here.