Mediation using a qualified mediator to facilitate negotiations as to how a couple are to separate. Mediation is both voluntary and confidential. The mediator has to remain impartial. Therefore, a mediator cannot give legal advice but a lot of information can be given to assist a couple (and our solicitor mediators, Carol, Jane and Sarah are able to provide a lot of legal information).
Collaborative Law (sometimes called mediation with legal advice) is more expensive than mediation as two solicitors are involved in a series of four way meetings with their clients to try to reach an agreement. There is a strong motivation for the lawyers to reach an agreement via collaborative law as if the collaborative process breaks down and cannot be restarted then the collaborative lawyers cannot act further for their clients who have to seek fresh legal advice. Jane and Sarah are collaboratively trained lawyers.
Traditional Negotiations between solicitors involving an exchange of information and then negotiation either in correspondence or in a round table meeting to try and broker an agreement.
Family Arbitration is where a family lawyer (trained in family arbitration) decides issues which a couple cannot agree on. Family arbitration has been developed because of the time and cost involved in going to court. Family arbitration is seen as being quicker and cheaper than going to court but the couple using family arbitration have to accept that the decision of the arbitrator is binding.