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Resolution’s Good Divorce Week: Mediation and collaborative law

Nov 25th, 2020

Emma Lawler, Partner

There are plenty of options available to you if you want to avoid going to Court whilst you go through a divorce. These options are commonly referred to as ‘ADR’ (alternative dispute resolution).

Two of those options are mediation and collaborative law. Mediation would involve both parties meeting with a trained family mediator to see if an agreement can be reached. That agreement can relate to any aspect of your separation. The mediator’s role is to help you both in facilitating agreement by discussing options, providing information and facilitating discussions between the parties. Mediation is a voluntary process and you aren’t tied into any agreement until you choose to make it legally binding at a later date.

Collaborative law would involve each of you appointing a collaboratively trained solicitor to engage in a series of round table meetings between you and your lawyers with the aim of reaching an amicable agreement. Everyone engaged in the process signs an agreement at the outset of the discussion setting out the ground rules and principles which everyone should commit to by taking part in the process.

Overall, if you and your ex are both committed to adopting a reasonable approach and to taking sensible advice there are plenty of options avoidable to you to achieve an amicable divorce and financial settlement as well as agreeing arrangements for parenting if necessary. This can leave you in a position be able to maintain a positive relationship with your ex as well as saving significant legal fees on both sides.

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