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Hunters Law LLP
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Lincoln’s Inn
London WC2A 3QN
Hunters Law

Your choices

Breakups are hard enough as it is. A drawn-out, bitter and expensive court process is in no one’s best interests. Whilst court proceedings are sometimes needed, and we are experienced litigators, it is often possible to use a non-court solution.

There are now a wide range of ways you can approach reaching a fair settlement that works for you and your family. We will explore with you how they can be combined to create a constructive path forward, and what other experts – such as financial advisors or tax consultants – we can bring in to ensure you have all the information and advice you need to make important decisions.

Some of these approaches include:

  • Mediation, where a trained, neutral mediator facilitates discussions between you and your former partner with a view to helping you reach agreement. The mediator cannot give legal advice, but you can each consult your solicitors between mediation sessions. You could also have your lawyers in the sessions with you, or if you prefer not to be in the same room as each other, the mediator can ‘shuttle’ between you whilst you’re in separate rooms with your lawyers.
  • Solicitor negotiations, where your solicitor negotiates with your former partner’s solicitor, through letters, phone calls, and sometimes meetings.
  • Round-table meetings, in which you and your solicitor, and your former partner and their solicitor, meet together in a series of four-way meetings to explore the issues and negotiate solutions. This is sometimes known as ‘collaborative law’.
  • Resolve. One lawyer advises you and your former partner together and facilitates your negotiations. Unlike a mediator, within this process the lawyer can give legal advice and will do so with the interests of the whole family in mind. This is often called ‘one couple, one lawyer’ divorce.
  • Early neutral evaluation, where a specialist lawyer can be asked to give their view on the likely outcome, either on a particular issue or the case as a whole. This can be helpful if negotiations get stuck.
  • Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings (FDRs) are a form of early neutral evaluation – an FDR is a type of court hearing where a judge indicates their assessment of the case. An experienced barrister is asked to take on the role of the judge.
  • Arbitration, where the parties jointly ask a qualified arbitrator to make a binding decision. This could be on just one aspect of your case, or on the whole matter, in which case the process can mimic the court process but on a privatised basis. It is a flexible process which can be tailored to meet your needs.

The choices can seem overwhelming, but we will work with you to identify your needs and priorities and then suggest a way forward. We will always work flexibly and be ready to incorporate different approaches depending on what your case needs. Using these approaches is generally quicker and more cost-effective than going to court. For financial cases, any approach we take will include full financial disclosure and any agreement reached by any of these approaches will be made into a legally binding court order.

We find that the most successful outcomes can happen in a non-court setting. Outside of court you have privacy, flexibility, and generally more control over how things work out; so you can put your energy into coming to an agreement that suits everyone, instead of fighting it out. Even if you have started court proceedings, there is always the option to use other approaches.