Financial & Legal News

Family dispute resolution is the way forward

  • Posted on

More and more family disputes are being resolved out of court and when it comes to caring for children going through a divorce the less acrimonious inter-parental conflict the better, say Family Law solicitors.

Where a child should live, and decisions about a child’s upbringing should all form part of the discussion when couples with children split up.  Times for seeing the other parent and financial arrangements are all part of these ongoing negotiations, but if it’s not amicable then traditionally it’s left to the court to resolve such disputes.

New reforms to the family justice system, which came into effect in April, will aim to see more family disputes managed out of court through family dispute resolution.

Non-Court Dispute Resolution

The new regulations direct separating and divorcing couples to first attempt non-court dispute resolution methods and to give reasons when an application is made why they say non-court dispute resolution is not suitable.

Mediation Information Assessment Meeting

The initial Mediation Information Assessment Meeting will need to provide improved information on all the various non-court options available, including arbitration, private FDR and collaborative law.

The Family Procedure (Amendment No.2) change means that those who don’t try mediation or other forms of family dispute resolution will have to explain to the court why they have not considered or attempted it. The judge will then decide whether the case should be adjourned to enable parties to attend mediation or an alternative form of resolution.

It is more important than ever that you have a family solicitor on board with knowledge of the process to prevent unnecessary applications to court and potential costs orders being made.

“This is something we absolutely welcome as when there is conflict in a split it can have a negative impact on the future well-being of a child and the parties and so anything that prevents this is appreciated,” said Divorce Solicitor and head of Family Law at Pearson, Emma Kendall.

“Whilst no one will be forced into non-court dispute resolution if there are issues of domestic abuse, having a solicitor to put forward your case and consider whether other options are suitable is a good idea.  In our experience in most cases, we find a more holistic approach to the whole divorce/separation process, less combative and better for children to see their parents together discussing their future, than angrily facing each other in court,” added Emma.

“The new rules encourage this approach, provide more information on it and will of course help families resolve their differences quicker and at the same time help with backlogs and delays in the family court process.”

How can we help?

If you need legal advice on a family matter or divorce our specialist Family Law Solicitors can help, call 0161 785 3500 or

We also provide specific help and advice on finances and pensions during the divorce process and the arrangements for your children.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

Written by Emma Kendall


    Request a call back

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

    We’ll only use this information to handle your enquiry and we won’t share it with any third parties.