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Different approaches to divorce

Divorce and other family law disagreements can often be unnecessarily expensive and stressful if they reach the courtroom.

However, there are a number of options open to you to help you agree on the terms with each other in a calm and civilised way.  

Taking a non-court dispute resolution (alternative dispute resolution or ADR) can reduce the time and cost for everyone and has other benefits such as avoidance of protracted court proceedings, help to avoid rifts developing between the parties, benefit future communication and relationships and have a far higher rate of success. 

Ideally, both parties will work together to reach a resolution however if this is not possible, the options below can help.

However, sometimes there is no alternative and if it is not possible to agree on arrangements regarding your finances and the children, it will be necessary to go to court. Our specialist family lawyers will support you through that process.

Your options for divorce

  • Mediation

    Mediation is a voluntary process which the courts actively encourage.

    You and your partner meet together with a family mediator to discuss your issues in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

    The mediator will help you to first identify just what those issues are, then guide you towards finding solutions during face-to-face discussions.  The offers that are exchanged in the mediation process are “without prejudice” – i.e. they are private and cannot be reported to the court. The mediator cannot impose a decision on either party.

    The intention is to encourage openness and a willingness to negotiate, with both parties working towards a settlement.

    A number of our family lawyers are trained and practising mediators.

    Read more about mediation here.

  • Collaborative Law

    Both parties and their solicitors commit to reaching solutions by agreement rather than through the courts.

    Face-to-face communication between the parties can help to reduce costs and improve the chances of working together well in the future.

    We have a number of trained collaborative lawyers across the firm.

    Read more about collaborative law here.

  • Arbitration

    When both parties agree to arbitrate their financial or child disputes, they appoint a suitably qualified person to adjudicate.

    They accept that the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding and that, if necessary, they will need to apply to the court for an order to give effect to it.

    We have qualified arbitrators who offer this service.

    Read more about arbitration here.

  • Going to court

    Court proceedings are usually necessary if:

    Your partner is not giving you all the financial information you need

    There are complex financial issues that you need a divorce court to help you agree upon

    There is no other option as other out-of-court routes have failed to achieve a fair settlement on finances and child arrangements after divorce

    There is domestic violence or the threat of this so you feel that you need to remain at a distance from your partner and wish to have matters conducted through solicitors

    There is an issue of urgency to getting your case before the court. It may be to take steps to protect your children or preserve assets. It may be because there are competing jurisdictions and you need to win a race to be the first person to issue in your preferred jurisdiction

How we can help

At Stowe Family Law we are committed to resolving matters without conflict.

All of our family lawyers are highly skilled in negotiating divorce settlements with financial and/or child-related matters. We also have a team of trained mediators, collaborative lawyers and arbitrators and offer these services across all of our offices. 

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