New Year, New Start

It’s an accepted fact many people reassess their life choices about marriage and the family, following a period of significance in their life, or, indeed, after an annual seasonal event such a Christmas; when the family unit has spent a long period of time together and the New Year beckons.

When someone decides their relationship is at an end, there is always the prospect of a potentially uncertain, trying and tense time ahead if they choose to divorce or separate, and matters may be even more difficult if there are children involved. Additionally, they may have no idea what their legal rights are, or how they may achieve a fair, amicable and swift resolution between them and their spouse or partner. They may also be worried about the costs of any court proceedings.

In recent years the government has implemented radical change to the way family disputes are considered and resolved. This approach arose from a growing realisation expensive, time consuming court proceedings should, in all cases, be the last resort.

Nowadays, and whilst court proceedings are still available, parties in dispute, over finance on divorce or separation, or indeed over their children and arrangements for their care after they separate, can call on alternative ways of settling disagreements as follows:

  • Mediation – a voluntary process where the parties agree to meet with an impartial, qualified Mediator to discuss a resolution of their problems. Many lawyers undertake special training to act as Mediators, as the role is entirely different to that of the lawyer acting for one client, arguing their case;
  • Collaborative Law – The client is represented by a family lawyer specially trained in the collaborative process to represent them, and who will meet with their legally represented spouse or partner on a round table basis, with a view to negotiating a settlement. As with Mediation, the process is voluntary, the emphasis being on reducing family tensions, compromising matters quickly and saving legal costs;
  • Court Action – if a settlement cannot be achieved any other way, the court may be asked to decide matters.

Many solicitors who practice family law are not fully equipped to provide all three of the above services to their clients. However, we at Leeds Day pride ourselves on providing a full service to all clients. We have family solicitors specially trained to both Mediate and also to act in the Collaborative Process and we can therefore offer clients all possible options aimed at achieving a swift, economical resolution. Our solicitors are also highly experienced in handling complex, sensitive family matters that ultimately cannot be resolved any other way than through court action.

If you would like more information on the wide nature of the services we offer our family law clients then please contact us on 0844 567 2222, send an email to this article when making an appointment before the end of January 2016 and your first 30 minute consultation will be free of charge.

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