In modern Britain, people can often be quite flippant about the subject of divorce and separation, particularly as high failed marriage statistics dominate our media and celebrity culture. Separation might be significantly more common in today’s Britain than in years gone by, but it is still a tentative subject, and a circumstance which can put a lot of strain and anxiety on the families involved.
David Gray Solicitors LLP cater to clients across England’s North East and have been named as a top tier firm by The Legal 500. Their family services department is the biggest in the North of the country, and offer a team of specialist lawyers who are well experienced in finding ways and means in which to ensure a smooth process for the whole family.
Going through a lengthy court case can be particularly time consuming, expensive and stressful for both sides. David Gray Solicitors are one of only a handful of firms to offer family mediation services, a good alternative to the courts, which is often seen as a more viable and gentler system of couple separation. It is also an option that the Government are asking more families to consider, rather than the often quite brutal process of court-led divorce.
Family mediation is quite simply a way of reaching a written agreement describing the arrangements you have decided on with your ex-partner, avoiding conflict and reaching a conclusion in a calm and structured manner. It involves meetings with the mediator, who will seek to help both people reach an agreement about children and/or finances in a constructive way and without taking sides. Within 2 to 4 sessions an agreement can be usually made, which is significantly cheaper and quicker than court proceedings and avoids creating ‘winners’ or ‘losers’ in the already upsetting situation.
David Gray offers Family Mediation free of charge to people who are eligible for Legal Aid. Legal Aid is only available to take cases through court in very limited circumstances but it is available to anyone who wishes to try mediation if they are financially eligible.
Under new rules, anyone who wishes for a court case to go ahead will be referred to mediation first.
The Justice Minister, Lord McNally explained the reasoning behind the move by Government in his statement, “mediation can be quicker, cheaper and produces better results than stressful family court battles and we are committed to helping more separated couples use the excellent services available to them. Last year, just over 17,000 people successfully used Legal Aid funded mediation to settle family issues.”
With offices in Newcastle and South Shields, David Gray Solicitors LLP provide a friendly and expert Family Mediation service that works to resolve family issues by helping separating couples listen to each other and finding a suitable solution. For more information on court alternatives you can contact the team by visiting their website at www.davidgray.co.uk.