Our Solicitors understand the importance of resolving disputes in ways which preserve family relationships. We are committed to exploring the possibility of alternative dispute resolution where we believe it is in the best interests of our client. By considering these practices, we can give our client the best possible opportunity of reaching an amicable solution with as limited expenditure as possible.
Disputes can arise in a number of respects including, child-related issues and financial provision. We can help guide and support you through this challenging time, and employ the expertise and assistance of other family agencies where required. Court action is not a course of action which we would recommend lightly, and we will always take steps to avoid raising court proceedings unless we view it as absolutely necessary.
Mediation involves the use of an independent third party. The mediator helps parties work out what their issues are and how best to resolve them. The mediator will ensure that both parties get a chance to state their case and then assists you to work through the issues that are preventing progress being made. Parties in mediation are fully in control of the solution and you and your former partner, not the mediator, decide what will happen and the terms of any agreement you make.
Mediation is a voluntary process and only takes place if both parties agree. It is a confidential process where the terms of discussion are not disclosed to any party outside the mediation hearing. If you are unable to reach agreement, you can still explore other avenues. The costs of mediation are usually borne by both you and your former partner.
If you and your former partner are in dispute about a particular issue, and you both agree that a decision needs to be made, you can pick an independent expert (called an 'arbitrator') to make a decision.
The chosen arbitrator can be an expert in the subject (such as a surveyor) and it is not necessary for them to have legal qualifications. An arbitrator can make decisions on the facts of your case and also on the law. However, if necessary, the arbitrator can refer the case to the Court of Session for a further opinion on the law.
Under the collaborative law process, each party appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer and you and your respective lawyers all meet together to work things out face to face. You will each have your lawyer by your side throughout the process and so you will have the support of our trained collaborative specialists as you go.
You and your individual Solicitor will sign an agreement that commits you to trying to resolve the issues without going to court and prevents us from representing you in court if the collaborative process breaks down. That means everyone is absolutely committed to finding the best solutions by agreement, rather than through court proceedings.
In negotiation processes, you will work with your specialist Family Law Solicitor to agree solutions. Your Solicitor will then contact your former partner, or their Solicitor to agree certain matters. This process can work independently of any court process, or can be used in conjunction with an ongoing court action.
Litigation essentially means pursing an action through the courts. Our Solicitors are expertly trained in court processes in both the Sheriff Court and Court of Session procedures and can guide you through this complex area.
As mentioned above, our Solicitors would not advise anyone to pursue an action through the courts unless absolutely necessary. If court action is required, our specialist Solicitors will provide you with unrivalled advice to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome.