Family Dispute Resolution Week

Published: 10th November 2014

Family solicitors are encouraged to be members of Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association). This is a national group covering all of England and Wales set up to promote and encourage a constructive and non-confrontational approach to family law matters.

Resolution currently has 6,500 members of the legal profession all of whom agree to adhere to a Code of Practice to ensure all comply with the Resolution ethos.

Resolutions third Family Dispute Resolution Week is due to take place between the 24th to the 28th November 2014. The sole aim of the event is to promote the alternatives to Court proceedings available to couples going through the emotion, and often highly charged, process of relationship breakdown.

Alternatives to become embroiled in lengthy, often financially costly, Court proceedings include mediation, collaborative approach and family arbitration.

Family Mediation

Mediators are trained to work with couples, individually and jointly, to resolve difference of opinions and views which often arise both during and after a relationship breakdown. The difference can be in respect of issues concerning children and/or division of financial assets.

The mediator is a neutral party whose job it is to facilitate negotiations between separating couples to try and assist them to reach an agreement, either in respect of children or finances or both, with which they are both prepared to comply.

We have fully trained solicitor mediators at K J Smith Solicitors.


With this process each party appoints a collaboratively trained solicitor and the separating couple meet face to face, with their respective solicitors present to reach an agreement. The presence of the solicitors enables the client to have access to immediate legal advice should an issue arise during discussions.

Both parties agree from the outset that they will commit to the collaborative process. If agreement cannot be reached, and Court proceedings are necessary, both parties must obtain new and different legal representation.

We have fully trained collaborative solicitors at K J Smith.


The parties agree the identity of an arbitrator whose responsibility it is to make a decision for them about their legal family issues either in respect of children, finances or both. The arbitrator’s decision is final and binding.

We can recommend an arbitrator to assist.

At K J Smith Solicitors we also offer a free initial 45 minute consultation in any of our 5 offices. This provides individuals experiencing a relationship breakdown with access to legal advice to help them avoid any potential legal pitfalls which could land them in Court in the longer term.

Seeking advice at an early stage can ensure issues are considered and possibly even avoided before they become a problem.

For more information, contact K J Smith Solicitors today on 01491 630000 (Henley-on-Thames), 020 7070 0330 (Central London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor) or 01256 584000 (Basingstoke) for your free 45 minute consultation.

This article was written by Suzanne Foster.

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