Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

There are many options for resolving your dispute away from the courtroom and the courts are very keen for this to be utilised.  This is often referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution or “ADR”. The options are:

Reach an agreement yourselves

You could settle your dispute directly with your ex partner and have a family solicitor that you contact as and when you need guidance.  A family solicitor may also be able to convert a concluded agreement in to a contract or court order for you so that it is formally recorded. 


Mediation involves an independent third party who may or may not be a solicitor helping the two of you to reach agreement or even just to narrow down some of the areas of dispute.

Most parties generally have a solicitor in the background to give advice and to prepare a formal record of the agreement reached.

Collaborative law

You both need to instruct Collaboratively trained solicitors to use this method of ADR. The process involves committing to using this method to resolve the dispute and meetings rather than letters going back and forth between solicitors. Our Cobham office team has completed this specialist training.


You can instruct an arbitrator to decide the outcome of your case but this has to be by agreement with your ex partner.  The arbitration is binding, although it can be appealed in certain circumstances.

Solicitors’ negotiation

You can instruct a family solicitor to represent you and try to negotiate a settlement with your ex partner.  If an agreement is reached your solicitor will ensure it is formalised.

Court proceedings

If all else fails you can start court proceedings to resolve matters in dispute.  You will need to comply with the requirements to attend an information session with a mediator first.

For further information please visit or speak to one of our specialist Family Law solicitors.

Our Team