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Going to court is always a very harrowing experience. This is especially true if it is your first time going to court. While a good solicitor should be able to prepare you for the case and what you should be considering before you speak as a witness or a defendant, the reality is that when you are asked to step up and state your testimony, it is always a nerve-wracking experience. In fact, this is not something that once merely gets used to –even people who have already been through multiple trials still get nervous in court. It is a normal human reaction when your own testimony as to what you actually know of the case is being scrutinized in such a formal setting. Furthermore, this is compounded even further if the person that you are involved with in the dispute is actually a family member, or even your own spouse. You might think that this is a far-flung possibility, but considering the number of divorce and child custody cases in the UK every year, it is not as unlikely as you might think.
Fortunately, when it comes to family law in the UK, there is such a thing as alternative dispute resolution. So what exactly is alternative dispute resolution and how can it help you out if you are anxious about going to court?
Simply put, alternative dispute resolution is exactly what its name implies. It is a method of resolving a legal dispute (in this case, a family law dispute) without resorting to actual litigation. There are a number of these alternatives available so let us tackle each of them one by one.
This is probably the simplest and most straightforward method of ADR, and it can be particularly effective in certain circumstances. Basically, if you feel that you may still be able to salvage the relationship without going on your separate ways, then this is the best option for you. There are many marriage counsellors at there and the best part is that no legal paperwork and/or court fees will be involved in this process. Basically, a third-person counsellor, who is usually a psychologist specializing in marriages, will act as an in-between for you and your spouse so that you can resolve your differences with one another and come to a compromise as to how your relationship should be handled without resorting to court.
Mediation in alternative dispute resolution
If you are already separated or plan to separate and just need to sort out some financial and property issues with no complications, then mediation is your best bet. It is voluntarily entered into by both parties and you may also be eligible for free mediation depending on your particular circumstances.
If you want something more definitive, then arbitration is your best bet. While it is a similar type of alternative dispute resolution to mediation, the difference is that the arbitrator’s decision has a legal and binding effect. Only financial disputes are currently open for arbitration.
Collaborative Negotiations in alternative dispute resolution
In this type of alternative dispute resolution, both parties have their own lawyers and then negotiations are entered into without going to court for the purpose of collaborating and finding a compromise between the parties.
We are sure you will have many more questions that you will need the answers to, get in touch now for the very best family law help and advice in Belfast or indeed anywhere else in Northern Ireland.