September 28, 2012

Court out? Weighing up the options

Jones Myers is delighted to be named one of the two top family law firms in Leeds, West and North Yorkshire, by our industry bible Legal 500 this week. We believe that one of the reasons we receive such accolades is because we champion non-confrontational divorce.

Our team has particular skills in helping divorcing couples to opt for solutions based on alternative dispute resolution.  Therefore we were surprised by the results of a new survey that show that more than half of people questioned in Yorkshire and the Humber believe that it’s inevitable that a divorce settlement will go to court.  Clearly the message about alternative and less adversarial options isn’t getting through.

The survey was commissioned by national family law association Resolution to coincide with Family Dispute Resolution Week.  Resolution comprises 6,500 family lawyers and professionals who are committed to taking conflict out of family disputes – our managing partner Peter Jones is a former national chair.

Peter, who is a trained mediator and one of only 54 family law arbitrators in the UK, believes that we must raise awareness about non-court options, particularly ahead of changes to legal aid provision for divorce.  Government plans to significantly reduce legal aid from April 2013 are forecast to leave many couples with no entitlement to financial support for divorce and residence hearings. Coupled with this, recent statistics show a rise in divorce rates with family courts feeling the strain.

Mediation, collaboration and arbitration all offer viable, less stressful alternatives to the court process. For more information on these and other services see our previous post on five ways to divorce or contact us here.

As part of Family Dispute Resolution Week, Resolution has launched a new advice guide, ‘Separating Together: Your options for separation and divorce’ which is designed to help divorce from being unnecessarily adversarial. The guide is available from: