If you are going through separation or divorce, it is vital that you are aware of all the options available to you for resolving matters. Court proceedings are sometimes unavoidable, but in the vast majority of cases it is possible to resolve matters without recourse to the court.

At the first meeting, we will discuss the options available to you to resolve matters, including:


Negotiation can take place with or without professional advice from solicitors, however, if you reach a direct agreement, you should still seek independent legal advice on it. Negotiation can also take place via roundtable meetings with solicitors involved.


Mediation is a process whereby an impartial mediator meets with you to assist you in reaching an agreement over all issues, whether financial issues or relating to your children. The mediator will recommend that you seek advice from your own solicitors during the mediation process. The mediator can also meet with the children to ascertain their wishes and feelings.

Collaborative Law

In the Collaborative Law process, each person appoints their own collaboratively-trained lawyer and resolves issues through a series of face-to-face meetings. The focus is on reaching a tailored agreement to meet the family’s needs. Other professionals often assist, such as a family consultant and financial advisor.

Arbitration, Private FDRs and ENE

In family arbitration, an arbitrator is appointed by the couple to make a final and binding decision, whether in relation to finances or children issues.

A Private FDR or Early Neutral Evaluation ("ENE") is a private, out of court process, where a judge/evaluator gives a view of the likely outcome, to assist parties in reaching settlement.

Court process

The court process is necessary where one party behaves in such a way that none of the non-court options are viable. The court will set a clear timetable for resolution and the focus will still be on resolving matters without the need for a fully contested hearing. Emergency applications can be made to address urgent issues.


When you are in the midst of change, it is essential to have a clear idea of the likely costs involved in resolving issues. The level of costs will depend on which process is followed, however we will provide you with clear and transparent information about this from the outset. See more on costs here.


Resolution, the nationwide organisation of family law professionals, has produced a helpful leaflet which provides further information about these options.


Please also see below a video explaining the benefits of instructing a Resolution lawyer.

Make an Appointment

We offer meetings (subject to our Covid procedures) at our offices or, if you prefer, appointments by video conferencing including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and other platforms. We have been undertaking online client appointments, remote court hearings, online mediation, conferences and settlement meetings throughout the pandemic and are very familiar with using a wide range of online platforms.

To make an initial appointment please complete the online submission form in the box below, or if you would rather speak to a member of
our team directly please call 01243 769001.

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