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Derek Legal Blog

Dispute resolution in the Family Court

Ninety-five percent of all matrimonial disputes are resolved by the parties themselves, with only 5% ending up in the litigation process. Of the 5% only a small number end up having a trial. This of course is one way of dispute between the parties as resolved, the judge deciding the outcome.

There are several problems with the trial process. One is that it is taxing on the parties and two there are lengthy delays between institution of proceedings and judgement, which in some occasions can be several years. There is also the expense involved in the litigation process that takes several years.

There are alternatives to the trial process and these can be done even before proceedings are commenced.

The first is mediation. Mediation is a process where the parties go before an experienced family law practitioner who doesn’t advise the parties or decide the issues for them, but rather endeavors to help the parties to resolve the issues themselves. This has the advantage of being less stressful, inexpensive and the parties are likely to be happier with the result that they have agreed upon between themselves.

The other is arbitration. Arbitration occurs when an experienced family law practitioner decides the issues between the parties in a way that is binding on them, the same way as if they had a trial before a judge. Whilst the parties have to pay for the arbitrator, this process is likely to be cheaper than the full litigation before a judge. It is quicker, and it has the advantage of the parties controlling when the matter will be dealt with thereby making it significantly quicker than waiting for a trial date. Another advantage of arbitration is that the parties can arbitrate a discreet question, which may have the effect of allowing the parties to resolve the matter themselves. By way of example, the parties may have agreed on how the property is to be divided but cannot agree on a value.

The only drawback with arbitration at the moment is that children’s matters cannot be submitted to arbitration.

Contact Rita Derek of this firm for further advice.

Posted in: Derek Legal Blog at 13 June 18

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