by Gemma Preston

Are there alternatives to Court?

When a relationship ends, there are often many reasons why couples choose to resolve the issues arising as a result of the end of a relationship without going to Court, two of the main factors tend to be costs and time.

The Court system is struggling under a great deal of pressure, meaning that hearings are often delayed and there is often a lack of consistency with the judiciary and that was before COVID-19 caused many more delays.

There is a limit as to who is eligible for legal aid funding and often an inability to decide convenient hearing dates.

If you choose not to go down the Court route, there are alternative routes that can be considered.

Mediation is often a separating couples first attempt to resolve matters. An independent mediation will assist with discussions and negotiations to try and reach an agreement. Mediation however, is not legally binding and any discussions or agreements cannot be relied upon in Court on a later date, but it can be a quicker and cheaper way to reach an agreement.

Arbitration is another way to try and resolve disputes. Each party have their own solicitors and an Arbitrator is instructed to make a binding decision that can be approved by the Court. The parties, with the Arbitrator, can choose the venue, the time etc and it a system that can be bespoke. This is often beneficial when parties are working and want to resolve matters quickly.

If you would like to discuss your options further, please contact the office and we can help identify which option is best suited to you.

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