Mediation and Collaborative Law are forms of alternative dispute resolution. Courts are keen to promote and encourage ADR to reduce the number of parties who attend Court to encourage parties to resolve issues that can sometimes be resolved between them if they have assistance and help to communicate effectively.


Where parties disagree, be they parents with issues relating to children or spouses or unmarried partners, sometimes a neutral third party can assist with reaching an agreement.

Mediation is a means for disputing couples to communicate in a safe and neutral environment. Views can be aired while the mediator can ensure the discussions remain focused.

Where agreement can be reached at mediation it will be incorporated into a written agreement which both parties sign and agree to adhere to. The negotiated compromised settlement might be a Separation Agreement about finances or a Parenting Plan concerning children.

If agreement can be reached at mediation it is often possible to avoid contested Court proceedings. A settlement reached by agreement may be more likely to succeed than a decision imposed on you by a Court.

Sometimes it is not possible to avoid a Court application. In such cases, prior to issuing a Court application, a parent in children disputes or spouse in financial disputes is encouraged to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) with a Mediator. At Parker Bullen we are all experienced in assisting clients through contested Court proceedings but where possible we encourage our clients to consider all options of resolution that may be suitable for them prior to commencing a Court application.

At Parker Bullen all our Family Solicitors have experience in acting for mothers and fathers to advise on all aspects of the law concerning children, and husbands and wives and former cohabitees in financial matters, following a relationship breakdown. We are Resolution Accredited Specialists who promote and encourage effective dispute resolution to conclude matters in a client, child focused and cost effective way.

We offer a free no obligation initial consultation. Taking legal advice at an early stage can often avoid pitfalls and can enable you to resolve matters sooner.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative Law is an alternative to litigation in the courts to resolve family disputes and/or make arrangements about children, finances and other personal matters after separation or divorce.

It is a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their solicitors and, on occasion, other family professionals in order to avoid the uncertainties often associated with Court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children without the underlying threat of litigation. The process allows parties to have a fair settlement.

The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (a “participation agreement”) binding each other to the process and disqualifying their respective solicitor’s right to represent either one in any future family-related litigation.

The collaborative process can be used to facilitate a broad range of other family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of pre and post-marital contracts.

Collaborative law processes can also have the added benefit of being cost efficient for the involved parties. As the necessary tasks in the collaborative model are assigned to specialist professionals without duplication of effort and cost savings are realised.

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Your Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Team

"Tricia is a truly an exceptional collaborative lawyer"