Lawyers in Inverness providing advice on mediation, collaboration and arbitration
In many cases when couples separate, particularly where there are children involved, mediation or other methods of alternative dispute resolution can be a more appropriate course to take. Mediation involves a mediator facilitating an agreement between the couple and can be an effective way of maintaining communication, setting the basis for a future relationship following separation, and keeping decisions about children in parents' hands.
Our experienced Family Team can offer you a comprehensive range of mediation services, helping to minimise legal fees, alleviate tension and ease the transition of a separation. Based in Inverness, our services cover the whole Highlands and Islands region, including Thurso, Caithness, Moray, Nairn, Ross-shire, Skye, Stornoway, Sutherland and Orkney.
For more information on mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods, please phone our family law team in the Highlands on 01463 795 035. Our initial conversation is free.
Frequently Asked Questions about Alternative Dispute Resolution
This allows both parties to directly negotiate the matters of dispute between themselves by using solicitors. This usually occurs in the form of written correspondence to discuss the issues that require to be addressed. The desired outcome of negotiation is that both parties reach an agreement without being required to raise court proceedings.
A divorce is the legal termination or end of a marriage otherwise than by death by the granting of a Decree of Divorce. Dissolution is the term given to describe the legal termination of a Civil Partnership. A divorce or dissolution will be granted by the Sheriff Court or the Court of Session.
Mediation involves both parties attending mediation sessions in the presence of an impartial third party mediator. Both parties must be willing to sit down with one another and engage in constructive negotiations. If an agreement is achieved both parties can then go back to their solicitors and enter a binding written agreement.
The collaborative process is based on a contract involving both parties and also their solicitors committing to openly engage and act with respect and integrity throughout the process. Collaboration occurs by a joint meeting or series of joint meetings around a table to negotiate matters. No correspondence takes place in-between the joint meetings. Other professionals can be brought in to the process if their expertise is required. As part of the contract entered, both parties agree that they are unable to instruct their solicitor to raise a court action if the negotiation fails.
The Family Law Arbitration Group Scotland (FLAGS) is a group of qualified legal practitioners appointed as Arbitrators. Arbitration is helpful in cases where there is an issue of principle where collaboration or mediation is not suitable and the case demands a decision. It avoids the requirement of the parties going to Court with the benefit that once the Arbitrator has made their decision it is binding.
This involves the raising of a court action at a Sheriff Court or the Court of Session. This may be appropriate in situations whereby a court order is required as a matter of urgency or where all attempts of negotiation have been unsuccessful. Although the Courts are able to grant binding decisions, the length of procedure, particularly involving children can be lengthy and expensive. Both parties should be aware that once a Court action is raised, a degree of control is removed from both parents and rests with the deciding Court. The outcome of a Court Order may not be satisfactory to either parent but is ultimately what the Court considers to be in the best interests of the child.
Other legal services which may be of interest to you in Inverness and the Highlands
Inverness Wills & Estate Planning
Our Inverness team can help you with all aspects of making a will and estate administration issues.
Inverness Estate Agents
With an unrivalled knowledge of the area and more than 25 years' experience of selling homes, our local estate agency offers you the highest quality of service from start to finish all under one roof.