Fraser Dawbarns Solicitors Celebrate National Family Dispute Resolution Week 25th-29th November 2013


Many separating couples believe they have to attend court in relation to children and financial matters. This is completely incorrect and it is accepted by many relationship breakdown professionals that court is very much a last resort. Dispute Resolution refers to the various options to resolve disputes between separating couples that are non-court based. National Family Dispute Resolution Week is to promote these other options and to encourage separating couples to consider non court based alternatives to resolve their disputes.

If your relationship is breaking down what are your greatest fears?

* The impact on your relationship with your children
* A loss of control over your future
* Concern that if Family Lawyers are involved they will make the situation worse
* Decisions made by Judges who do not understand your family and apply principles you do not agree with

If these are your main concerns there is now an alternative to the traditional route which addresses these issues. Collaborative Law is about separating couples reaching their own agreements. The process is client led. You set the agenda and apply values that are important to you.

Rebecca Woodley is a trained Collaborative Lawyer and Fraser Dawbarns LLP are pleased to continue offering this exciting service. Since qualifying as a Solicitor in 1998 Rebecca has become increasingly concerned at the effect the current system has on separating couples. Traditionally the English Legal System is adversarial. This means two opposing sides fighting to obtain the outcome they desire, a Judge applying legal principles and making a decision which frequently neither party likes. In their desire to win parties often resort to huge criticisms of the other . In the family context this can often lead to relationships that are so damaged parties are no longer able to communicate. Sometimes the bitterness goes so deep it affects the parties for the rest of their lives.

In Collaborative Law there are no parties or Judges and couples can set their own agendas based on what they believe is important. There is no correspondence between Solicitors which can increase arguments between couples who are trying to agree matters amicably. Collaborative Law operates through a number of round table meetings with the couple and the lawyers. The lawyers are not there to impose their views on the couple but to use the wealth of their combined experience to help the couple find their own solution. With the lawyers’ help the couple are able to make informed decisions about the family’s future. Not only do couples find this process considerably less stressful than the traditional route, they are able to continue communicating and therefore co-parenting leading to improved relationships between children and parents following divorce.

Rebecca says in places where Collaborative Law has become popular fewer and fewer clients are using the traditional route and this is having an enormously positive effect on the children of separated couples. In a society with an increasing divorce rate and with so much pressure on children and young adults to achieve this must be the best way forward

by Rebecca Woodley from the Downham Market office