Dealing with a divorce is naturally going to be a stressful and upsetting time. These emotions can often be compounded when relying on family court proceedings to negotiate the terms of the divorce. However, there are various ways of reaching agreement outside of court, known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which can lead to a faster and cheaper resolution.


Mediation is often a useful method of negotiating the terms of your divorce, particularly at an early stage. During mediation, you and your ex-partner discuss the issues between you with the mediator (an impartial third party) in an attempt to reach agreement. The presence of a mediator can be useful in helping you and your ex-partner to focus on the important issues in your case, such as property and pensions, so as to achieve a fair and realistic outcome for you both. Mediation is not binding, meaning the mediator cannot enforce any decision made on either party. This can therefore be a useful method at the early stages of divorce to determine the important issues and the solutions that you should work towards. Furthermore, a Family Mediation Council survey showed mediation to be effective in 70% of cases. This form of out of court divorce is therefore a real possibility for many couples to reach a fair settlement.


Similarly to mediation, the process of collaborative law involves face to face meetings with your ex-partner. However, your solicitors will also be present at all meetings. This offers the benefit of receiving legal advice at each stage of the process to help achieve the best outcome for you. Furthermore, all parties commit to reaching solutions by agreement, rather than going to court. Given the already stressful nature of divorce, this element of focus can help lead to fairer and faster decisions.


Out of court divorce can also help to minimise the impact on any children. The less adversarial process compared to the court system, as well as the higher likelihood of an amicable future relationship with your ex-partner, can ensure there is less stress around your children and lead to a good relationship with both parents.


For further information on this topic or on any other legal area, please contact John Szepietowski or Kay Stewart at Audley Chaucer Solicitors on 01372 303444 or email or visit our Linkedin page.


John Szepietowski

December 2022

Author John Szepietowski

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