This New Year marks the arrival of a new set of laws concerning separating couples. Reforms have been made to the Children and Families Bill, which means that anybody wishing to go to court to resolve issues relating to children, property or finances will be obliged to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting first.

For people seeking solicitors in Newcastle, David Gray Solicitors LLP have one of the largest and well respected family departments in the North East, and have offices based in both Newcastle and South Shields. David Gray offers family mediation and collaborative family law services, including for those eligible for Legal Aid.

Family mediation is used for reaching a written agreement with the help of a mediator who is not there to take sides but to create an environment in which an amicable decision can be made. Separation affects the whole family, but by avoiding winners or losers, mediation offers a unique opportunity to have a constructive conversation without a messy and long fought court battle.

Family Justice Minister, Simon Hughes has explained this week that the Government wants people to, ‘use the excellent mediation services available to them, and when people separate we want them to do it in the least damaging way possible.’ As well as it being a much less stressful way in which to reach an agreement, the cost can also be vastly reduced as it is quicker and done in two to four sessions.

David Gray Solicitors also offer Collaborative Family Law, which assigns each person an experienced family lawyer and together everybody works as a team under a signed written agreement which specifies that there will be no court action taken. The lawyers will talk you through any aspects of the law that you might not understand and guide you through the process and so that you and your separating partner come up with the solutions that are right for your family.

The amount and duration period of meetings for both mediation and collaborative family law is dependent on the complexity of each case, but they are certainly a better alternative to court.

To find out more visit David Gray Solicitors LLP at