Bishop & Sewell
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The end of a relationship is rarely straightforward, but does not have to be contentious. In many cases it is not necessary to go to court and there are a variety of methods to help you come to an agreement.

Sometimes matters can be dealt with by negotiations between solicitors. There are also ‘alternative dispute resolution’ methods available that are increasingly used to help reach an agreement.

Mediation is a method where separating spouses or partners will sit down with an impartial mediator who will facilitate negotiations. The mediator can’t make a decision for you and will usually suggest that each party gets legal advice before finalising any agreement and having it put into a binding order. We have a team of mediators available to deal with both children and financial matters.

Collaborative law is a process where clients and their solicitors commit to working cooperatively to reach a fair solution without involving the court. These matters are dealt with in a number of roundtable meetings in comfortable settings with both solicitors working with their clients to try and reach a solution that is fair and works for the family. We have trained Collaborative Lawyers who will be happy to discuss these alternatives with you.

Arbitration is an option that is becoming increasingly popular. It is similar to the court process. An independent arbitrator is agreed and appointed to adjudicate on any issues. While the arbitrator has to be paid for, the advantage is that it is a process that will be far quicker than going through the courts, is entirely private and the arbitrator can deal with discrete issues.

Obviously some cases are not suitable for alternatives to court and litigation will be needed to achieve a fair outcome for our clients. Our team is experienced in dealing with the most complex and demanding litigation and our approach is one that is firm but fair.

Next Steps

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our team, please email family@bishopandsewell.co.uk or contact 020 7631 4141 and ask to speak to our Family team.

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