Alternatives to Court-based Divorce

January 02, 2013  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Arbitrators, mediation-trained lawyers and collaborative family law solicitors can be vital in helping couples and families find the right ways to resolve relationship breakdown without the need to go to court. But according to Resolution, only 50% of separating couples would consider an alternative to court when getting divorced, despite the availability of options which can reduce both the stress and cost of separation.

“Non-court based solutions […] often prove less stressful and less expensive than a lengthy courtroom battle.” Liz Edwards, chair of Resolution explained. “For some couples, court is the only option; but for the vast majority there are other, more suitable solutions which make the difficult process of break-up that much less stressful.”

The main reason for this statistic seems to be a lack of awareness, with “patchy understanding” and “ill-founded scepticism” surrounding alternatives such as arbitration, mediation and collaborative family law. These types of solicitor-led separation, however, often provide a much more positive method of divorce, allowing couples to work towards a beneficial outcome for their family and as individuals. Avoiding court can save you money, too, and reduce the time involved in negotiating your separation. An estimated 115,000 people could benefit each year from these alternative services, so why aren’t people choosing them?

Concerns raised by a recent poll conducted by ComRes included worries that non-court methods of separation aren’t as clear as traditional processes, or that an individual’s rights are not as well protected as in a court environment, but these types of worries are unfounded so long as you use a solicitor professionally trained in arbitration, mediation or collaborative family law. Perhaps part of the problem is a lack of alternative services – Frances Lindsay is the only fully qualified Family Law Arbitrator in the Thames Valley area and our team of solicitors also offer mediation and collaborative family law from our offices in Maidenhead and Beaconsfield – while many other local solicitors are not able to offer these options.

To find out more about how alternatives to a court-based divorce might help you and your family, please get in touch with us at Frances Lindsay & Co by calling 01628 634667 or emailing

Berkshire arbitrators,

Frances Lindsay is a member of the Collaborative Family Law Group, the Institute of Arbitrators, and is a qualified Resolution Mediator and Family Law Arbitrator.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We support the award-winning NGO, AfriKids by raising funds and awareness of their child rights and community development work in northern Ghana. Click here to learn more.