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Alternative Dispute Resolution

One of the defining principles of The Modern Family Law Company is our commitment to resolution rather than litigation as a method of resolving family disputes. Nobody benefits from acrimonious court proceedings, least of all the children that are the subject of them.

What ADR services does The Modern Family Law Company offer?

ADR services are specialist services offered by specially qualified professionals. We have trusted partners to whom we are able to refer our clients for:

  • Mediation
  • Early Neutral Evaluation
  • Arbitration

Whilst these specialist services are provided we will remain on hand for any advice that is required.

 

Mediation

Our trusted partners include a number of specialist qualified children mediators to whom the parties in a dispute about children can be referred and who operate at very competitive rates. Often these sessions involve the adult parties and the mediator. However, sometimes it is agreed that the case is suitable for “hybrid mediation” involving the parties, their lawyers and the mediator. The advantages of mediation are that it reduces conflict, avoids lengthy court proceedings and is considerably cheaper than a contested court case. At the outset of your case, we will discuss with you whether mediation might be appropriate.

 

Early Neutral Evaluation

Early Neutral Evaluation takes place outside of the court process. An experienced evaluator (a solicitor or barrister, usually somebody who has judicial experience) will consider both sides of the case and give an opinion as to the likely outcome were the matter to proceed to a full court hearing. Early Neutral Evaluation is conducted either in the absence of the parties on the basis of the written evidence and arguments or in the presence of the parties and their lawyers. A written opinion will be produced by the evaluator. This is not binding on the parties and does not determine the outcome of any court proceedings. The advantages of Early Neutral Evaluation are that it potentially avoids costly and acrimonious litigation and is considerably cheaper than a contested hearing. We have trusted partners to whom we can refer for Early Neutral Evaluation at very competitive rates.

 

Arbitration

Arbitration is a private alternative to a contested court hearing. Arbitration is conducted by a trained and accredited children arbitrator who is a solicitor or a barrister.  An arbitrator can decide interim issues (e.g. how much time a child should spend with each parent until the court makes a final decision about where that child should live) and make final determinations (e.g. where a child should live throughout the remainder of their childhood). If a contested hearing is inevitable (because agreement has proved impossible) the big benefits of arbitration are that you are able to choose your arbitrator, choose the venue and choose the date of the arbitration. The arbitration is completely confidential and is not open to the public.  The arbitrator charges a fee, so you are effectively having to pay for the Judge. However, the family court currently has a huge backlog of work and there is considerable delay in matters being listed for hearing. If you decide on arbitration your case comes out of the court system and proceeds quickly and effectively. The arbitrator’s decision is binding and once that decision has been made the case passes back to the court for a formal order to be drawn up and sealed.

We have trusted partners who are arbitrators at all levels of seniority to whom we can refer our clients at very competitive rates.

 

How can I find out more about ADR?

Please Get in Touch via our contact page and we'll be delighted to provide further information.

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