News & Insights

Divorce & Separation – Your Options

Hannah Sims explains the process and options available for those considering a divorce or separation.

Starting a new year can be difficult, especially when the media is full of “New Year, New You” articles and posts. It may also be that you are considering a divorce or separation as we enter 2022, which will undoubtably increase the usual feelings of anxiety and apprehension. Our Family team are here to help and can assist you in figuring out the right way forward for you. In this article, Hannah Sims, a Solicitor in the Family team, outlines the process and options available to clients considering a separation at this time.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Court proceedings can be extremely stressful, time consuming and expensive. Therefore, when possible, alternatives to this process should be considered with a view to coming to an agreement outside the Court arena. Alternative dispute resolution or ADR is the collective term for methods of resolving matters by means other than litigation and includes the following: –

  • Mediation – A third party assists the parties in finding a suitable solution. The mediator is completely independent and cannot ‘take sides’.
  • Collaboration – Each party instructs their own collaboratively trained lawyer and everyone attends round table meetings to discuss settlement options.
  • Arbitration – The parties jointly instruct an arbitrator, who will make a final and binding decision.

ADR has many advantages and can assist parties in a more cost effective and less confrontational way than the traditional Court process. However, ADR is not appropriate for everyone and we suggest that you discuss the options with your legal advisor in order to determine the appropriate way forward for your individual situation.

Court proceedings

For some, litigation is unavoidable. Whether this is due to an uncooperative party, failed negotiations or domestic abuse, we will be able to guide you through each step of the process. This will include discussing hybrid options such as hybrid-mediation, a Private FDR or a Collaborative-Lite process.

Whatever option you are thinking of taking, the first step should be to seek advice from a specialist family solicitor. If you would like any further information or advice relating to divorce or family matters, our Divorce, Family & Civil Partnerships team would be delighted to assist.