Resolving family disputes without going to Court

We are strong advocates for parties resolving their issues through mediation or arbitration. In fact, it is now a legislative requirement that parties make a genuine effort to explore all areas of primary dispute resolution before making an application to the Court.

Mediation, also known as Family Dispute Resolution, is a process whereby parties are helped by a trained professional to communicate effectively with the other about what is important for them and about how to make decisions about resolving their disputes.

The process is designed to encourage people to resolve their differences quickly and fairly, and to avoid costly legal action where possible.  Mediation can tackle any issues the parties may have including conflicts over children, maintenance, financial arrangements and property matters.  It is also ideal for separating couples to reach a suitable parenting plan or an agreement that is in the best interests of the children.

Mediation is usually a voluntary process and the decisions made are not legally binding. If an agreement is not reached through mediation you still have the option of pursuing Court proceedings.

Benefits arising from Mediation/Family Dispute Resolution include:

  • Less costs and quicker results than through the Court process;
  • Maintains parties’ control in the decision-making process;
  • Less stressful and emotionally taxing than Court proceedings;
  • Improves parties’ communication which in turn promotes an ongoing relationship; and
  • Allows for mutually beneficial outcomes that cannot be reached by the Court.

Arbitration is a slightly more formal process where the parties in dispute choose an independent arbitrator to act as a judge. The arbitrator’s decision is binding on all parties.

Talk to a mediation specialist

To find out more about any form of alternative dispute resolution that you think may be suitable for you, please contact Wiltshire Family Law. Our solicitors are able to inform you of the costs involved and fully assist you in the process.

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