There are several forms of alternative dispute resolution which can have a role to play in family law cases. These include:
In Collaborative cases, both parties retain separate, specially trained lawyers whose only job is to help them reach agreement. Both the clients and the lawyers sign a contract agreeing that they will not go to court. Lawyers agree to work together respectfully, honestly and in good faith to try to find mutually acceptable solutions tailored around the needs of both parties. Gillian and Noel are both collaboratively trained and welcome conducting cases on this basis.
Mediation allows issues between parties to be aired on a confidential basis using the services of a trained Mediator who assists them to reach a mutual, acceptable decision as to how matters arising from their separation should be resolved. The Mediator may or may not be legally trained, but is not able to provide legal advice to either of the parties, nor to make decisions for them. The parties are free to seek their own legal advice during the conduct of the Mediation. There are several forms of Mediation which can be used in family law cases, and Gillian is a specialist Family Mediator.
Arbitration provides a direct alternative to litigation where the parties agree to refer the resolution of contentious matters to an Arbitrator who will be an experienced family lawyer. The process has certain advantages over litigation in that it is quicker, more economic and, importantly, all proceedings are private. Both Gillian and Alasdair are FLAGS (Family Law Arbitration Group Scotland) Arbitrators.