One size does not fit all.
The Family Law Company recognises that each of our clients is unique; clients face different difficulties and will want different outcomes.
When you first come to see us, we work with you to find out the nature of your family issue, what you want to achieve and how we can assist you in getting you where you need to be.
Many people, when thinking about instructing lawyers, immediately think of the court process and are often intimidated by this. However, there are many options available and we offer a variety of ways to assist you through your family dispute.
Although the court may seem daunting, we appreciate it has a role in family proceedings, particularly when there is a difficult opponent who is not playing ball. The court will impose strict timetables and can also enforce penalties for somebody who does not comply with matters. While some people try to resolve their matters amicably, if both parties are not willing to proceed in this way, court may be the only option and may be the right way forward for you.
If the court process is one which appeals to you but you are not ready to issue an application at court there are other alternatives such as arbitration.
The arbitration process is relatively new, and involves an arbitrator adjudicating on financial issues where a couple are unable to resolve their differences. An arbitrator is a private judge, and the process is confidential and geared to individual circumstances.
Many consultants (who are lawyers or Judges) are now offering schemes where they hold private court hearings. There is a fee for this but it means that you do have the consultant’s undivided time and attention without other cases being heard on that date and the venue can be at a choice to suit.
The aim of consultants is to provide recommendations for fair and justifiable solutions to financial disputes which are independent of any outside influence. It is this which gives parties confidence in the approach to problems. The consultants are not on the “side” of either party or their lawyers.
If you are in the early stages of thinking about separation, we can refer you to relationship counsellors – they are not always there to put couples back together but can also help guide you through a healthy separation.
Relationship counsellors can support you through the emotional difficulties that are faced during a divorce and this will of course, be more cost effective than using a lawyer. Whilst your lawyer should be compassionate, non-judgemental and able to assist, they are predominantly there to help you achieve your goal and sort through the legal issues for you.
Negotiations between lawyers are another way of settling matters. ‘Round table’ meetings are where lawyers, you and your former partner meet to set an agenda on matters to discuss, ultimately trying to come up with an agreement about the way forward.
Collaborative law is a form of negotiation in which the separating couple and their lawyers commit to resolving all of their practical issues arising from their separation without litigating through a Court process. Negotiations, advice and discussions all take place in four-way meetings involving the couple and their lawyers so that there is complete transparency about the legal advice being given. The commitment of all four people is reinforced by their agreement that if the negotiations break down the couple will have to use different lawyers if they wish to use the litigation route.
Mediation is a process in which an independent mediator assists a couple to resolve all of the practical issues arising from their separation. A mediator is neutral and provides information, not advice, to help the couple organise their thoughts, gather all relevant information and think through the pros and cons of each of the choices they have.
The outcome of mediation is a set of proposals on which the couple are encouraged to take legal advice before their lawyers make any such proposals binding.
The Family Law Company
The reason that the Family Law Company is different from other law firms is that we are specialists in our area; family law is all we do.
Because we understand that each client has different needs, we make sure that we offer a comprehensive range of services. This way we make sure that we can help you in the best way for your individual requirements and preferences.
We are also able to ‘subspecialise’ in family issues – this means we have lawyers who are highly specialised in particular areas, such as divorce and finance, children issues, child abduction and public law issues.