Dispute Resolution and Out of Court Settlements

Dispute Resolution and Out of
Court Settlements

We offer a range of approaches to help you resolve successfully the issues between you and your partner. Non-court dispute resolution (alternative dispute resolution or ADR) is something that we will discuss during our first meeting when we review your situation; together we will determine the best option for you and your family. Child and family law disputes can be extremely costly; reaching an agreement outside of court has a much higher success rate and can help to preserve good relations.

In addition, reaching agreements out of court generally takes considerably less time and money than a contentious, litigious approach.


Mediation is an amicable voluntary process, which the courts actively encourage. You and your partner meet together with the mediator to discuss the situation between you. The mediator will identify key issues and will help to reach a solution. The mediator is not there to give legal advice to either party but instead to facilitate discussions.

If an agreement is reached the terms are recorded in a document, which although not legally binding in itself can be made into a binding agreement or court order if required.

We use a select group of mediators to whom we refer clients when mediation is the appropriate route. All of our recommended mediators are highly experienced, and we willensure that the right person is allocated to your case.


Arbitration is a private court process for resolving all types of despites involving financial and children matters in family cases. You and your partner appoint a specialist family arbitrator to settle the issues between you. Arbitration is a voluntary process and something that you must both choose to do. Once a decision is made in arbitration it is binding. Arbitration is an area where we have particular expertise and experience. Liz Cowell, one of our directors, is a fully qualified, family law arbitrator and a member of the Family Financial Arbitration group.


Very often clients choose to enter into direct discussions and negotiations with their partner. Sometimes they involve third party friends or family members to assist in trying to reach an agreement. This form of negotiation tends to be successful when relations are relatively amicable and the issues that are in dispute are minimal.

Where an agreement is reached in such circumstances, our expert team will work with you to ensure the implications of the deal that is struck are fully understood before any final paperwork is executed.

Solicitor-led negotiation and
round table meetings

You, as the client, appoint a solicitor of your choice, through which discussions and settlement negotiations take place. Most clients prefer this option as it means that they are not directly involved in the negotiations with their ex-partner and his/her solicitor, makingthe process less confrontational.

Our team has years of experience in negotiating settlements on behalf of our clients. In most cases, negotiations are amicable and can be concluded after round table discussions.

Going to

There are times when court is the only way of resolving the issues that exist between you and your partner. Indeed many cases benefit from the court’s involvement, especially those where one party is failing to co-operate, comply, or provide financial disclosure. In children proceedings, if contact is being denied then seeking the help of a judge through the court process may be the only way forward.

At McAlister Family Law, we do not issue court proceedings for the sake of it. We undertake a full assessment of your case, including conducting a costs versus benefit analysis, to ensure that this is genuinely the right option for you.


Bass Warehouse
4 Castle Street
M3 4LZ


If your enquiry is urgent please call

+44 (0)333 202 6433