It can be a common mis-conception that the involvement of solicitors in dealing with financial matters following the breakdown of a relationship inevitably leads to an adversarial, polarized dispute between the parties, culminating in massive expense and petty arguments about who gets to keep the sofa! Books, TV programmes and films do nothing to assist this perception! That is not, however, the approach taken by our team, and thankfully in our experience not the approach taken by most solicitors in Scotland specialising in this area of law.
All of the solicitors in the Drummond Miller Family Law team are committed to assisting clients to resolve such disputes in as constructive and positive a fashion as possible – robustly representing their client’s views whilst remaining polite, courteous and resolution focused. Often, separating couples will require to have ongoing contact due to children or other commitments, and as such it is important that solicitors do not add to the stress of the breakdown of the relationship.
By far the majority of our financial cases are dealt with by negotiation between solicitors, where we can provide our clients with expert advice on the law regarding financial provision on divorce/ separation, which can be complex, and represent their position and instructions clearly to the other party/ solicitor, with a view to reaching an agreement that ensures our clients receive what they are fairly entitled to by law.
Increasingly, parties are keen to explore alternative methods of dispute resolution. Head of Family Law, Lynne Stratford, is a trained collaborative lawyer and can be instructed in cases where parties wish to use this approach. All of our solicitors encourage parties to explore mediation where appropriate, and can refer on to agencies offering such services. In addition, Lynne is also accredited as a mediator by the Law Society of Scotland, and is regularly instructed as an independent mediator to assist individuals in resolving their cases. Arbitration is a growing area of dispute resolution in Scotland, and again one we are happy to explore with clients if appropriate.
Whilst we always try to avoid court actions if possible, there are circumstances where financial disputes can only be resolved by judicial determination. Our solicitors have experience in conducting cases in the Sheriff Court, Sheriff Appeal Court, Court of Session and UK Supreme Court, and are confident and experienced litigators when necessary, whilst maintaining a constructive and courteous approach – far removed from some of the court scenes of the small screen!
As always, getting good advice is essential. The Drummond Miller family law team is extremely experienced in dealing with all aspects of family law including separation, divorce, and child-related matters. If you would like any further information or advice, please get in touch with our experienced solicitors in Edinburgh, Dalkeith, Musselburgh or Bathgate.