The topics covered so far in this week’s blog campaign come under the heading of Alternative Dispute Resolution. They are processes available to help the divorcing couple reach an amicable settlement regarding finances (and children). Reaching an agreement is in the best interests of the couple and can also involve a big saving on legal costs. However, sometimes there is no alternative but to apply to the court to resolve the dispute.
Charlotte Adler is a family law specialist and the owner of Adler Fitzpatrick Solicitors in Kingston-upon-Thames. Charlotte advises on divorce and separation and the financial implications of this. She explains below why going to court can sometimes be the best option:
“Most people going through a divorce or separation would rather avoid having to go to court because it can be expensive but there are some benefits. Once a court application gets underway the process is resolved within a prescribed timetable set by the court and this usually means a resolution within 6-12 months.”
What does going to court involve?
“Any application to the court starts with an application and court fee. Before the application is made legal rules now require consideration to be given to the possibility of mediation. The parties are required to attend court and often comply with court ‘directions’ prior to or between court hearings. Directions are tasks that the court sets to help prepare the case and manage and supply information during the process. Directions are legally binding and if not followed will place the defaulting party in ‘contempt of court’ which could result in costs penalties or even imprisonment if not adhered to.”
How does it work?
“At court hearings, a judge will consider the information on the file and try to actively manage the case giving their advice and opinion in relation to the issues and/or outcomes. Wherever possible, a judge will encourage the parties to settle their case. The parties can represent themselves at court or appoint a solicitor or barrister to speak for them. If settlement is not possible then the court will provide a final hearing at which each of the parties gives evidence and the Judge will make a final decision.”
What are the benefits to you as the client?
“In summary these are as follows:
- A defined timetable so that the parties will be able to see an end to the dispute
- Objective input from a Judge
- Proper legal opinion based on legal precedent rather than relying on what one person may consider the right outcome
- Will overcome impasses where the parties are unable to communicate or agree
- If settlement is reached at court and the judge approves it, the settlement will immediately be binding
- Decisions based on facts and not feelings or emotions
- Designed to be fair to both parties
The decision to start a court application needs to be carefully thought out however. Managed in a constructive and cost efficient way the court process can promote a quick and fair resolution.”
To get in touch with Charlotte Adler and find out more about her services, please see her website Adler Family Law or telephone her on 0208 5466698.
How Can Divorce Coaching Help When You Go To Court?
Rhiannon Ford Divorce Consultancy provides support and guidance for people going through divorce and/or separation, working with individuals before, during and after the legal process.
I often work with family law solicitors and mediators to provide specialised professional help to clients struggling with the legal process. I can prepare you for the court hearings so you feel ready and know what to expect and can provide personal support by accompanying you to the court hearings themselves.
For more information about these services, please contact me here. Don’t struggle on alone. Divorce and separation is a challenging time in anyone’s life. I am here to help. Please get in touch to find out how I may be able to help you at this difficult time in your life.
For information on the other options available to you for reaching a financial settlement in divorce, click on the links below for my other blogs in this series:
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you will find lots more in my ebook “Tips for Coping with Divorce” which you can download here: free ebook.
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