Web Analytics Made Easy -
StatCounter
November 5, 2019
How to make the perfect Christmas Child Arrangement

How to make the perfect Christmas Child Arrangement

The advent calendars are already in the shops prompting many separated parents to start thinking about what they will be doing with their children on Christmas Day. Each parent will imagine opening presents with the children on Christmas morning, and unless they are in the tiny minority who can contemplate actually spending the day with their former partner, one parent is always going to be disappointed. The good news is that if you are starting to think about arrangements now, there is a reasonable chance that through one of the many routes available to you, a firm plan will be in place by the time those first doors of the advent calendar are being opened.

The first option is to try to come to an agreement with your former partner. Any lawyer will always tell you that whatever agreement is reached should always be recorded in writing, even if that is just an email trail. The best arrangements are those which put the needs of the children first and allow them to spend time with each parent over the Christmas period. This is achievable in a variety of ways.

Christmas Child Arrangement suggestions

If you live close to the other parent, the children can spend part of the day with each of you. This works well provided that there is transport (if necessary) and that the children (and you!) do not spend too long travelling. One common arrangement is that the children spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with one parent, and Christmas afternoon through to Boxing Day evening with the other.

If travelling on Christmas Day is not an option, the children could travel on Christmas Eve afternoon and/or Boxing Day morning. This plan usually means that the parents agree to alternate the years so that the children have the Christmas Day experience with each parent every other year. Some children in this situation have ‘two Christmas Days’, but the increasing importance of Christmas Eve with the arrival of ‘Christmas Eve boxes’ onto the UK Christmas scene, means that this option is becoming more palatable. It’s also worth remembering that in the not so distant past – the Victorian era – Boxing Day was the proper day to open boxes of presents!

The reality is that with a two week break for school age children over the festive period there should be ample time for the children to spend with each parent. However, the emotive nature of Christmas Day, the wishes of the children, family traditions and the wish for children to see wider family members all combine to make this a notoriously difficult plan to agree. So what are the options if you and the other parent can’t agree an arrangement?

Mediation for Christmas Contact Arrangements

One idea is to try mediation. This is a scheme whereby a third party, such as a family mediator or a barrister or solicitor qualified as a mediator, acts as an independent third party whose aim is to help parents come to an agreement. If you have already tried to resolve the issue with the other parent directly, you might have a fair idea of how likely this is to be successful. It may rest on how far apart you and the other parent are in terms of your proposals, and what the character of each of you is like in terms of your willingness to change your position. If talking it through with assistance is not likely to help, and bearing in mind that time is limited before Christmas is upon us, the remaining options are arbitration or an application to the court.

Court hearings on Christmas Contact

Applying to the Court for Christmas contact is one well known method of getting a decision  about how much time a child should spend with each parent. The difficulty is that the courts are now overloaded with serious cases concerning the welfare of children, meaning disputes about Christmas are relatively low on the list of priorities. If your case is already in proceedings, you should speak to your solicitor or direct access barrister now about sorting out Christmas arrangements. If you are lucky the Court may still be able to list your case for a hearing before Christmas. If you have not yet issued proceedings, it is highly unlikely that the Court will now be able to hear your case before Christmas. Many Court centres across the country are facing delays of 3 months or more before cases come before them for a first hearing.

Arbitration as an alternative

A highly effective alternative available to you is to use a Family Arbitrator. Arbitrators are experienced family law specialists (solicitors or barristers) who are qualified and approved to make binding decisions in cases concerning children. You can find out more about the scheme at IFLA.org.uk. You and the other parent can either agree on a particular Arbitrator or ask the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) to nominate an Arbitrator local to you. Each parent then takes the following simple steps:

  1. Sign an agreement to arbitrate
  2. Agree a fee with the Arbitrator’s clerk
  3. Prepare and send statements for the Arbitrator which set out what you think should happen over the Christmas and New Year Holiday and why
  4. Either attend for a short hearing with the Arbitrator, or ask for a written decision to be sent to you

The benefits of arbitrating your Christmas contact arrangements

  1. There will be a fixed fee which is agreed in advance, is shared equally between the parents (unless they agree some other division of costs) and is much less expensive than going to Court with representation. (The fee to issue Court proceedings is currently £215 and lawyers fees will be on top of that.)
  2. There is no pressure on you to come to an agreement; you will tell the Arbitrator what you think is best for the children and why, and the Arbitrator will make the decision.
  3. The Arbitrator’s decision (which is known as a Determination) can be with you within 48 hours of your hearing or your statements being received by the Arbitrator. That is quite something!
  4. If you choose to attend the Arbitration in person, it can be arranged at short notice and at a time and place to suit you and the other parent. You can attend the Arbitration with legal representation or by yourself – an Arbitration is a much less stressful experience than a Court hearing. Your case will be the only one that day.
  5. The Arbitration Agreement sets out that the Determination is binding on both parties.

The clerks at Barrister For Me are taking bookings now for Christmas contact Arbitrations and can assist with any queries you may have about the scheme. Please contact them for details and to find out about the fixed fees.

Julie Stather MCIArb | Arbitration


Perfect Christmas Child Arrangement

Make an Enquiry

Upon receiving your enquiry a public access clerk will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case in further detail. Please see our 4 steps outlining the process of instructing a public access barrister with Barrister For Me.

Enquire[/button

October 31, 2019
Paper arbitrations for children cases – could this work for you?

Paper arbitrations for children cases – could this work for you?

Arbitration is a scheme where people with a disagreement decide to appoint someone (a specialist lawyer) to make a decision to put an end to their dispute. It is cheaper and quicker than going to court and, unlike mediation, does not require the parties to agree about anything other than the fact that they can’t agree!

Arbitration has been established for some years now as a way of assisting separating couples both in relation to financial matters and to disputes relating to children. Arbitrations can take the form of ‘hearings’ that you attend at the same time as the other party. Each tells the arbitrator what they would like to happen, whilst also having the opportunity to ask the other party questions, all in front of the arbitrator. The arbitrator makes a decision and both parties are bound by it.

The beauty of arbitration as a scheme is that it is totally flexible. This means that you could agree that the arbitration takes place ‘on paper’ – that is without either of you having to attend a ‘hearing’.

What is a paper arbitration in children’s cases?

An arbitration on paper is way in which you can get someone to make a decision about your dispute without having to attend a hearing/meeting at which you give evidence and ask questions of the other parent. In order for the arbitrator to have the required information, you and the other parent would draft a statement setting out what you want for your children and why. You can draft the statement yourself, you can have help from a solicitor or someone else to draft it, or you can pay a solicitor to write it for you. When the arbitrator accepts the case, they should be able to tell you which issues your statement should cover. Each parent sends their statement to the arbitrator, copying in the other parent, and the arbitrator reads them, applies the law and makes a decision. That decision is sent to you within 48 hours and is binding on you and the other parent.

What are the benefits of a paper arbitration?

  1. You do not have to attend a ‘hearing’ type situation with the other parent
  2. Once your statements are received by the arbitrator you will get a decision within 48 hours – the courts are unlikely to be able to make a decision for you for months
  3. The fee is fixed and can be split equally between you or in any other way which you agree.
  4. The process is much cheaper than going to court.
  5. Your dispute is decided by a professional who has been accredited by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators
  6. The arbitrator will decide the dispute by applying the law of England and Wales. The decision is binding on both parents.
  7. If you feel that you need a Court Order as well, you can apply for one. An application for a Court Order in the same terms as the decision is very likely to be granted.

Is paper arbitration suitable for my dispute?

This type of arbitration is suitable where the issues are very well-defined – that is to say that there are not lots of different issues which all overlap. Examples of cases which are suitable for paper arbitration are which school or nursery a child should attend and what contact they should have with the other parent at a specific time – eg over a holiday or at Christmas. Paper arbitration is particularly helpful where you would rather not be in a room with the other parent and the arbitrator and asking questions of each other, or where you need a decision made about your dispute as quickly as possible. It is also a perfect solution if you find the idea of giving evidence and asking questions of the other parent very difficult; you will be able to draft your statement wherever you feel comfortable and at a pace that suits you.

How do I organise a paper arbitration?

The process is very simple.

  1. Agree with the other parent that you need someone independent to sort out your dispute.
  2. Find an arbitrator – We have a team of arbitrators at Barrister For Me, each of them skilled and experienced practitioners in Family Law. There is also a list at www.ifla.org.uk. If you can’t choose an arbitrator, IFLA (the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators) can appoint one for you.
  3. Agree a fee with the arbitrator’s clerk or office.
  4. Send your application to IFLA and to the arbitrator’s clerk or office.
  5. The arbitrator will contact you telling you when to file your statement.
  6. File your statement and receive a decision by email within 48 hours.

Where can I find out more about the scheme?

There is a full outline of the arbitration scheme at www.ifla.org.uk. You can find out more about Children Arbitration on the Barrister For Me website, or by telephoning the clerks on 01273 81 00 11 who will be happy to assist and to recommend a member of the family team who will be best able to help you.

Julie Stather MCIArb | Arbitration


paper arbitrations for children cases

Make an Enquiry

Upon receiving your enquiry a public access clerk will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case in further detail. Please see our 4 steps outlining the process of instructing a public access barrister with Barrister For Me.

Enquire[/button

October 8, 2019
Christmas Contact – How to get it sorted, fast!

Christmas Contact – How to get it sorted, fast!

Christmas is just around the corner, as any trip to the supermarket or shopping centre will tell you. Aside from worrying about getting hold of this year’s ‘must have’ toy, another concern for separated parents is when they will see their children over the Christmas period. If discussion with the other parent, with or without the help of a mediator, is unlikely to resolve matters there are two options available to you – the Family Court or a Family Arbitrator.

Applying to the Court for Christmas contact arrangements is a route which is well known to solicitors and barristers across the country. If your case is already in proceedings, you should speak to your solicitor or direct access barrister now about sorting out Christmas arrangements. If you are lucky the Court may still be able to list your case for a hearing before Christmas. If you have not yet issued proceedings, it is highly unlikely that the Court will now be able to hear your case before Christmas. Many Court centres across the country are facing delays of 3 months or more before cases come before them for a first hearing.

A highly effective alternative available to you is to use a Family Arbitrator. Arbitrators are experienced family law specialists (solicitors or barristers) who are qualified and approved to make binding decisions in cases concerning children. You can find out more about the scheme at IFLA.org.uk. You and the other parent can either agree on a particular Arbitrator or ask the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) to nominate an Arbitrator local to you. Each parent then takes the following simple steps:

  1. Sign an agreement to arbitrate
  2. Agree a fee with the Arbitrator’s clerk
  3. Prepare and send statements for the Arbitrator which set out what you think should happen over the Christmas and New Year Holiday and why
  4. Either attend for a short hearing with the Arbitrator, or ask for a written decision to be sent to you

The benefits of arbitrating your Christmas contact arrangements are:

  1. There will be a fixed fee which is agreed in advance, is shared equally between the parents (unless they agree some other division of costs) and is much less expensive than going to Court with representation. (The fee to issue Court proceedings is currently £215.)
  2. The Arbitrator’s decision (which is known as a Determination) can be with you within 48 hours of your statements being received by the Arbitrator. That is quite something!
  3. If you choose to attend the Arbitration in person, it can be arranged at short notice and at a time and place to suit you and the other parent. You can attend the Arbitration with legal representation or by yourself – an Arbitration is a much less stressful experience than a Court hearing. Your case will be the only one that day.
  4. The Arbitration Agreement sets out that the Determination is binding on both parties.

The clerks at 1COR are taking bookings now for Christmas contact Arbitrations and can assist with any queries you may have about the scheme. Please contact them for details and to find out about the fixed fees.

Julie Stather MCIArb | Arbitration

 


Christmas Contact Arrangements

Make an Enquiry

Upon receiving your enquiry a public access clerk will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case in further detail. Please see our 4 steps outlining the process of instructing a public access barrister with Barrister For Me.

Enquire
May 21, 2019
Mediation vs Arbitration

Mediation vs Arbitration

Arbitration and Mediation are the two main forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

There is no ‘one size fits all’ form of ADR. Every case is different. Every party has different needs and objectives. Below we’ve set out some key information which may help you decide which form of ADR is right for you, but our friendly team of clerks are available on a no-obligation basis to chat through your options and help you decide – call them on 01273 81 00 11 or fill in our online enquiry form.

Arbitration

Arbitration is essentially a ‘private court’ which means that someone independent (the Arbitrator) is appointed and that person makes a decision about your dispute. The arbitrator takes the same role that a judge would take at court.

You might choose arbitration instead of mediation in the following circumstances:

  1. When the parties know that they will not be able to reach an agreement, even with assistance
  2. When the timescales are such that there is not time for negotiations to try to reach an agreement
  3. When the parties wish to be able to fix and limit fees by limiting the amount of meetings you have with the arbitrator

Arbitration is a well-established scheme. The arbitrators making the decisions are experienced lawyers who have undertaken additional training and are accredited and regulated by professional bodies relevant to their area of law.

The main benefits of arbitration are:

  1. Practical convenience

Arbitration is more relaxed than going to court. The arbitration itself can take place at a venue and time to suit you and the other party. That could be outside of court hours and in a far more comfortable setting such as barristers’ chambers or a solicitor’s office.

You can choose your own arbitrator who will be a specialist in the area of law in which you which to arbitrate. If you and the other party cannot agree on an arbitrator the regulating professional body can appoint one for you. You will also be able to ensure, where there is more than one meeting, that there is continuity of arbitrator; this is by no means guaranteed in court proceedings.

  1. Price

You will fix the price for your arbitration in advance.

Prices are structured so that you can choose to instruct the arbitrator to determine one distinct issue such as holiday contact with a child or the instruction of an expert, or ask the arbitrator to determine all of the issues in your case.

There is no possibility of further meetings with the arbitrator being needed; the arbitration is listed to be heard on a given day and a decision will be made.

With mediation there is the possibility of further meetings with the mediator being required (with a further fee), the aim being that each party shifts their position between each mediation until an agreement is reached.

  1. Streamlined process

Arbitration is not like court proceedings in which you fill out lengthy application forms, send them to the court and wait for a date for your hearing, and then wait months between each court hearing for your case to be decided.

Arbitration is also not like mediation where the aim is to get you and the other party to reach an agreement which could take an unknown amount of meetings with the mediator.

Arbitration is a simple process where you tell the arbitrator which issues you want determined, provide the arbitrator with the evidence (orally or on paper), and then await the determination which will be with you within seven days.

  1. Delay

One of the main benefits of arbitration is that delay is minimised. An arbitration can usually be listed within two weeks and a decision will follow within seven days. Your case will be the only one which the arbitrator deals with on that date and so there is no chance of it being adjourned because the arbitrator has run out of time or needs to deal with another matter.

Arbitration is a swift, cost-effective alternative to court and has the advantage of providing a final determination of your dispute. Barrister For Me offers arbitration in disputes relating to children and you can find out more about it on our family arbitration pages.

Mediation

Mediation is a confidential and flexible process in which an independent person (the Mediator) facilitates negotiations between the parties to help them achieve a voluntary settlement of their dispute on terms which they agree.

Unlike arbitration no binding decisions are made unless the parties reach agreement on the proposed settlement. This means that the option of reverting to the Court for a determination by a Judge remains open if either party is unhappy with the settlement proposals and means that no outcome is ‘forced’ on either party.

The Mediator will be an experienced litigator who will be able to focus discussions and break down barriers to settlement. Anecdotally the success rate of mediations is around 80%, meaning there is a very good chance that the dispute can be resolved on the day.

The Mediator will speak confidentially with each party in separate rooms about the strengths and weaknesses in their case and their opponent’s case. The Mediator will help the parties formulate and analyse settlement proposals with a view to helping the parties find a suitable settlement point.

Some of the key benefits of our mediation service:

  1. Convenience
  • Our service is available to parties before or during court proceedings.
  • It can be arranged at a time and date of the parties choosing rather than the one prescribed by the court listing officer.
  • The parties can choose a venue which suits their needs. Our mediation suite is included in the fixed price for our mediation service and is often preferred by parties as ‘neutral’ ground.
  • The parties can choose a mediator based on their knowledge and experience.
  • It can be accessed whether or not you have legal representation.
  • You can mediate the whole dispute or particular issues.
  • Our Mediators are flexible in their approach and will adapt the mediation process according to the needs of the parties.
  • Mediations can result in solutions, which Judges can’t order.
  • Mediations can help parties resolve their differences and improve future relationships in contrast to the court process which often further entrenches the parties’ differences.
  1. Price
  • Significant costs savings can be achieved by mediating a dispute compared to the costs associated with litigating a case to trial.
  • A clear fee structure is quoted in advance so you know how much the process will cost.
  • The Courts now strongly encourage parties to seek to resolve their dispute using alternative forms of dispute resolution (known as ADR). Mediation is one of the main forms of ADR and a failure a party to constructively engage in mediation can result in the Court making a costs order against that party.
  1. Streamlined Process
  • Mediations can be arranged at short notice.
  • Unlike a trial which can last many days, most mediations only take 1 day.
  • There is no need to give evidence or be cross-examined.
  • If settlement is achieved it will be written down and signed by the parties there and then.
  1. Avoids Delay
  • Rather than wait for a court listing date, which can often be many months later, a mediation can be arranged at short notice.
  • Increasingly trials are being adjourned at very short notice which builds in further delay and frustration into the court process.
  • Mediations can be arranged at any point during your dispute, whether at the very start or after positions have become entrenched.
  • Even after a trial has finished there can be delays in obtaining a Judgement which might then be subject to a lengthy appeal process. In contrast a successful mediation can achieve immediate solutions which can’t be appealed.

We offer mediation services in the following areas of law:

  • Civil and commercial disputes – including disputes concerning businesses, consumers, contracts, debts, property, landlords and tenants, land and real estate, neighbours, boundaries, wills and inheritance, trusts, personal injuries and employment.
  • Family disputes – including financial arrangements following divorce and child contact

Read more on our mediation pages.

If you have any queries about our arbitration or mediation services or think it could be useful in your case please contact the Barrister for Me clerks on 01273 81 00 11 or fill in our simple online contact form.

Stuart WrightJulie Stather MCIArb  | Arbitration & Mediation

 


Mediation vs Arbitration

Make an Enquiry

Upon receiving your enquiry a public access clerk will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case in further detail. Please see our 4 steps outlining the process of instructing a public access barrister with Barrister For Me.

Enquire

 

April 9, 2019
How can I agree holiday contact with my child?

How can I agree holiday contact with my child?

If you and your partner have separated, agreeing who should benefit from time with your child over the school holidays can be difficult. Most parents want to benefit from quality time with their child in the sunshine and away from the stress of everyday living. For some parents this turns into a disagreement about how long a holiday period should last, but for others, agreement cannot even be reached about whether that holiday time should include overnight stays. Matters can become even more complicated with work schedules to juggle, and sometimes other children to consider. So what do you do if you cannot reach agreement? Mediation is an option if you think you can agree with assistance, but if not you are left with two options – court or arbitration.

What is the court process?

Should you decide to go to court you would issue an application for a child arrangements order. The issue fee for this is £215. The court process then typically involves two or three hearings. The first time at court will be for a First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment (FHDRA). At this hearing you will be assisted by someone from CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory Service) whose job it is to make recommendations to the court based on what is best for your child. The court may direct that you and the other parent file statements so that everyone is clear what the arguments for and against each proposal are. The second hearing will be a Dispute Resolution Appointment (DRA) at which the parents are expected to try to negotiate an agreement to their dispute. The court may also try to assist in reaching an agreement by giving its own view. If agreement is not reached the case will be listed for a final hearing at which you and the other parent give evidence to the court and are asked asked questions by the other parent. At any or all of these hearings parents can be represented by a solicitor or a barrister. You can now employ a barrister direct (ie without a solicitor) if you prefer – all of the barristers on this website are available to be instructed directly. The reason for this is usually to try to save money. Each court is different, but the latest figures indicate that disputes between parents about their children are taking on average 6 months to reach a final hearing (source: Ministry of Justice). The other matter to consider is that your case might be adjourned at short notice to allow another case to be heard.

Arbitration as an alternative to the court process.

So what is the alternative if you are not able to wait 6 months for an order, or if you simply want to save some time and money? The alternative is arbitration – the ‘private court’. Arbitration is a scheme where you and your partner use a specialist family lawyer to decide your dispute for you. You can find out more about arbitration here, but please note that arbitration does not cover holidays outside of England and Wales. The benefits of arbitration, particularly if you have a dispute about holiday contact are:

  1. Your case can be heard very quickly by the arbitrator, in a matter of days
  2. You will only need to have one hearing to sort out holiday contact and you will get a decision within 7 days
  3. Your case will be heard at a time and place that suits you and the other parent (for example barristers’ chambers or solicitors’ offices), including outside of office hours
  4. Your case will not be in a list of cases to be dealt; the arbitrator will deal with only your case on the day and the arbitration will start on time
  5. You will know in advance how much the entire case is going to cost you because fees are fixed
  6. If you and the other parent don’t want to attend for a hearing, you can agree to send statements and any relevant supporting documents (eg holiday details, work schedules, school calendars) to the arbitrator who can decide the case on paper.
  7. You can choose to represent yourself if you want to have a hearing (arbitration is less formal and therefore less stressful than court), or you can use a solicitor or a barrister
  8. The whole process will save you time, money and stress

If you would like to book one of our arbitrators to determine your holiday contact dispute, or one of our barristers to represent you in an arbitration or at court please contact the clerks in our Brighton office on 01273 81 00 11 or via our online contact form. They are also able to assist in answering any queries you may have about the arbitration process.

Julie Stather MCIArb  | Family Arbitration

 


How can I agree holiday contact with my child?

Make an Enquiry

Upon receiving your enquiry a public access clerk will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case in further detail. Please see our 4 steps outlining the process of instructing a public access barrister with Barrister For Me.

Enquire
January 17, 2019
Cost of arbitration vs court – Why choose Barrister For Me?

Cost of arbitration vs court – Why choose Barrister For Me?

In the case of family disputes, arbitration is a method of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) whereby you ask a qualified independent third party to make a decision for you and agree to be bound by that decision. Arbitration offers benefits in that you or your legal representative can set out your case and ask questions of the other side without going to court, and a decision will be sent to you in the form of a high quality written judgment. It is much quicker and a lot less expensive than going to court.

One of the most attractive reasons for coming to Barrister For Me is that our fees are transparent and fixed – you always know how much you will have to pay to us before the process begins and there is no risk, as can happen in court proceedings, that those costs spiral out of control.

The other thing that sets us apart is that we are friendly and approachable, and available to you at evenings and weekends to fit in with your schedule.

Your case will be dealt with efficiently and fairly by professionals who are experts in the law relating to children. You can read more about our Arbitrators by clicking on their photos below. If you choose us, your hearing could be listed at a mutually agreed venue or in our building within days or weeks.

Our fees for a complete arbitration are £2,500 (including VAT but excluding any room hire and expert fees). Fees are shared between the parties. If the evidence is already prepared and just one short hearing is required, or if your dispute can be determined by the arbitrator reading a statement from each party, our fees will be lower. These costs are significantly lower than the cost of proceedings through the Family Court, which can exceed £10,000.

The family barristers on this website are able to represent you at arbitrations and you will also see arbitrators who you could choose to determine your dispute. If you would like to appoint a barrister or an arbitrator please contact our clerks for a simple guide to the process and an idea of fees.

Julie Stather MCIArb  | Family Arbitration

 


Cost of arbitration vs court – Why choose Barrister For Me?

Make an Enquiry

Upon receiving your enquiry a public access clerk will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case in further detail. Please see our 4 steps outlining the process of instructing a public access barrister with Barrister For Me.

Enquire
January 7, 2019
The Arbitration process in Family Law – How does it work?

The Arbitration process in Family Law – How does it work?

Children Arbitration is a process where you choose the judge who is to make the decision about your family dispute and agree to be bound by that decision. Whilst going to the Family Court is an option, arbitration offers the same benefits in that you or your legal representative can set out your case and ask questions of the other side, and a decision will be sent to you in the form of a high quality written judgment. The difference in coming to us is that it is much quicker and a lot less expensive than going to court.

The hearing dates are chosen by you. The judge is chosen by you. The arbitration hearings themselves are also far less formal and intimidating than they can be in the Family Court.

Arbitration is not mediation, early neutral evaluation or a legal advice service. It is a legally approved process which resolves your dispute with a sound final decision made by a qualified expert in children law. It’s an alternative dispute resolution service.

The decision of the Arbitrator is called a Determination. It is a written, detailed and reasoned judgment, which is completely independent. The same law must be applied in the arbitration as is applied in the Family Court. The arbitration must also be conducted fairly and properly.
Once you have the Determination, you or your solicitor can make a simple application for a court order in the same terms as the Determination so that you have an enforceable order. You will not normally have to attend a court hearing to get this.

The family barristers on this website are able to represent you at arbitrations and you will also see arbitrators who you could choose to determine your dispute. If you would like to appoint a barrister or an arbitrator please contact our clerks for a simple guide to the process and an idea of fees.

Julie Stather MCIArb  | Family Arbitration

 


Arbitration process in Family Law – How does it work?

Make an Enquiry

Upon receiving your enquiry a public access clerk will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case in further detail. Please see our 4 steps outlining the process of instructing a public access barrister with Barrister For Me.

Enquire
December 23, 2018
Family Arbitration – New ‘Private Court’ service for Children disputes

Family Arbitration – New ‘Private Court’ service for Children disputes

Most people dread the prospect of going to court to resolve disputes about children. Courts are intimidating places and both the process and the drain on your bank account seem endless. The Children Arbitration Scheme, regulated by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) is a real alternative. This is how it works and what it can do for you.

You and the person you are in dispute with appoint an arbitrator as your chosen judge to make an independent decision about your disagreement over your children. You can of course go to the Family Court if you prefer, but if you choose to appoint an arbitrator, you can save both time and money.

An arbitrator can help you with disputes about where the children should live, how much time they should spend with parents and other family members, and schooling issues. These are the most common sorts of dispute. Children arbitrators can’t help with care proceedings or applications to take children abroad.

Advantages of arbitration

There are many benefits of asking an arbitrator to resolve your dispute. The fees can be fixed. You choose your own judge, who will be a senior barrister or solicitor specialising in children law and will also be a fully qualified arbitrator accredited and regulated by IFLA. The arbitrator applies the same law as is applied in the Family Court. The hearing will be more relaxed. You can have a lawyer to represent you, but arbitration is perfectly suited for people representing themselves as the formalities of the court do not apply. You can choose which issues you would like the arbitrator to decide. The decision of the arbitrator is intended to be binding because that’s what you will have agreed and appointed the arbitrator for. It’s very difficult to appeal against an arbitrator’s decision, as is the case in the Family Court.

You will get an early hearing date within days or weeks, rather than waiting months to get a court date. The arbitration can be held outside of office hours to suit you at a suitable venue of your choice away from the stressful court environment. You will get a written decision with detailed reasons. The decision will be made and sent out to you within a short time after the hearing, perhaps within a week. At around £2,500, with each side paying just half of that figure, the cost of the service is much less than going to the Family Court, which can be up to and beyond an eye-watering £15,000.

Your case will be heard and decided at just one main hearing lasting no more than one day. If the issue is a simple one, and if the person you are in dispute with agrees, you can each send a written document to the arbitrator instead of attending in person. If the case is more complicated, a planning meeting can be held by telephone or dealt with on paper before the main arbitration. Your arbitration will start at a set time rather than you being kept waiting whilst other cases are dealt with. The arbitrator will know all about your case as he or she will have read the papers that you provide in advance. The whole thing is completely private as the public are not allowed in. Finally, you can apply to the Family Court for an enforceable court order in the same terms as the arbitrator’s decision. The Family Court is very likely to agree to make the order because it’s by consent of the parties and follows a non-court dispute resolution procedure. If you make your application within 4 months of the arbitration, you don’t have to attend a MIAM (mediation), which you normally would have to do if you had made an application to court instead of going to arbitration.

In the Family Court final resolution of disputes can take as long as a year, with many hearings, each incurring sizeable fees for legal representation.

Private Children Arbitration is a long overdue solution to many of the cost and delay problems that are overwhelming those who have had to go to court to resolve their children disputes.

The family barristers on this website are able to represent you at arbitrations and you will also see arbitrators who you could choose to determine your dispute. If you would like to appoint a barrister or an arbitrator please contact our clerks for a simple guide to the process and an idea of fees.

 

Julie Stather MCIArb  | Family Arbitration

 


Family Arbitration – New ‘Private Court’ service for Children disputes

Make an Enquiry

Upon receiving your enquiry a public access clerk will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your case in further detail. Please see our 4 steps outlining the process of instructing a public access barrister with Barrister For Me.

Enquire