Having endured over a month of football during the World Cup some footballing widows/widowers out there may now be seriously questioning whether their relationship is at an end and what options they have.
Avid listeners of The Archers on Radio 4 will be familiar with Shula and Alistair’s decision to attend mediation following the breakdown of their 20 year marriage. However, this is just one of the options available to separating couples:
Mediation is not relationship counselling but an opportunity for couples with a trained independent mediator to discuss financial and/or child arrangements and work towards a solution that suits the family. The mediator is not able to provide legal advice and it is essential for those attending mediation to seek advice from a family solicitor during the process to ensure that any agreement is fair.
Collaborative Law, is an alternative to mediation. Clients will often be nervous of attending mediation without the support of their solicitor and Collaboration enables each party and their respective solicitors to sit together to discuss settlement. It is a private process and the parties have a joint commitment to avoid contested court proceedings and to reach a solution by agreement.
Family Arbitration which is now available not only in relation to financial matters but also to resolve children matters is a way of matters being resolved by an arbitrator who sits very much like a judge to give a ruling. Arbitration can be a speedier, more flexible process than court but a process which both parties have to agree to undertake.
Going to Court is the right option for some clients. When court proceedings are taken this does not bring necessarily halt negotiations. Negotiations can continue alongside the court process.
Viewers of the BBC’s family law drama “The Split” will no doubt recall the round table meetings that were portrayed in this entertaining drama which had the family team at Girlings rather gripped. I found myself vocalising my views rather passionately at the TV screen! While the daily office life of the family team at Girlings is not quite like this BBC drama, we are alive to the option of a round table meeting.
The Girlings family team understands that every individual client’s case is personal to them. By discussing the various options that are available clients can make an informed decision as to which approach is most suited to their individual case.
For further advice on divorce and separation contact the Family Law department.