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Collaborative law and mediation are practical, alternative methods of dispute resolution which allow families to actively participate in finding solutions to their disagreements without resorting to court actions.
Both are voluntary processes which advocate the use of direct communication between parties to encourage more positive results when dealing with the breakdown of a marriage or a separation.
Collaborative law is a relatively new approach, offering families a fresh alternative when resolving disputes. As intimated above, it allows parties to have more control and input over the topics which are negotiated. The discussions take the form of “4 way meetings”, involving both parties’ solicitors. All parties agree to negotiate in good faith, without the threat of court action, so that the only goal is an amicable settlement. Collaborative law can lead to productive and efficient outcomes and can help to avoid any ill-feeling and distress associated with court actions.
Mediation is an effective and tested method of dispute resolution which involves the appointment of an independent third party, the mediator, who has been mutually agreed upon by both parties in dispute. The mediator is in place to help parties address the issues at hand, with a view to working out a formal agreement. For mediation to take place, there must be a willingness on both sides to participate and reach a solution – the mediator will make sure that both parties are given their opportunities to contribute. Again, this process is designed to avoid parties going to court, giving them more freedom to participate in a civil manner in the hope of achieving a better end result.
For more information, please contact the Court Department on 01463 221727 or send an email.