At last there is an alternative to long, painful and expensive Court proceedings.
Here at Sussex Family Solutions we realise that for one reason or another the issues that have to be resolved following a divorce or separation are not always resolved through mediation or the collaborative process, despite our best efforts, so what happens then?
In the event of the failure of a Collaborative process clients have found themselves in the position of having to potentially instruct new Solicitors, and start Court proceedings. There are no fast-track routes in these circumstances, and clients often feel as though they are back to square one. This means that additional funds have to be found to complete the Court paperwork and the emotional strength has to be found to embark on a potential ‘battle’ at Court.
However, a new Arbitration scheme for Family Law proceedings launched on 22 February 2012 means that it is now possible for a couple to enter into an agreement and appoint an arbitrator to adjudicate their dispute and make a binding decision rather than having to go through a ‘battle’ at Court.
Arbitration is regarded as a new form of alternative dispute resolution for Family Law cases and will help to take the pressure off the Court system by enabling couples to appoint their own chosen Arbitrator to deal with their case in a much quicker timeframe. Once chosen, the Arbitrator will remain involved in the case and conduct the entire Arbitration until a final decision is made. The decisions made in Arbitration are as legally binding and as enforceable as those made by District Judges in Court proceedings.
The Family Law areas that can be dealt with in this way are financial and property disputes arising from: marriage and its breakdown (including financial provision on divorce, judicial separation or nullity); civil partnership and its breakdown; co-habitation and the ending of co-habitation; parenting or those sharing parental responsibility; and provision for dependants from the estate of the deceased.
Sussex Family Solutions is delighted to be able to offer Family Arbitration to it’s clients, and our team includes one of the first Solicitors in the country to qualify as a Family Arbitrator.