Resolution in practice

The new Code of Practice is launched

We are signed up to the Resolution Code of Practice to help reduce conflict in family law disputes

Resolution launched their new Code of Practice  a few weeks ago coinciding with their Good Divorce Week Campaign which started on Monday.

Farhana Butt , Denis White and I (Louise Ballantyne) have been members of Resolution for a number of years. But what does being a member of resolution mean?

By becoming a Member of Resolution you are signing up to their Code of Practice which is aimed at reducing the conflict in family law disputes and proceedings and ensuring that practitioners behave in a non-confrontational way.

When a Family Lawyer signs up to the new Resolution Code of Practice they are confirming that they will:

  • Reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation; for example, by not using inflammatory language;
  • Support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first;
  • Act with honesty, integrity and objectivity;
  • Help clients understand and manage the potential long-term financial and emotional consequences of decisions;
  • Listen to and treat everyone with respect and without judgment;
  • Use experience and knowledge to guide clients through the options available to them;
  • Continually develop knowledge and skills; and
  • Use the Resolution Guides to Good Practice in day-to-day work.

In the long term adhering to the Code of Practice will benefit all those involved in the process but that does not mean it is an easy task. The difficulty in a number of family breakdowns is that conflict is a big part of it and you are often perceived as not “fighting” for your client if you do not take a head on confrontational approach. Is this true? No, in fact in most cases it could not be further from the truth.

Despite the common perception that family lawyers thrive on disputing couples, in my experience this is not the case. I can honestly say I do not. As family Lawyers we always suggest Alternative Dispute Resolution to clients and even the Court will not, unless in an emergency, allow you to issue a Court application unless Mediation has been considered and attempted. All areas of family law are moving towards a non-confrontational process and the only outstanding area is Divorce. Which is why Resolution are one of those organisations lobbying for no fault Divorce, and this is certainly something that I support.

It is important when going through a divorce or separation to seek legal advice so that you know what you are doing is right for you and your family and you are not missing out important elements of the process. Seeing a solicitor does not mean it has to become an adversarial process. All resolution members must adhere to the code and therefore can assist in settling matters without adding fuel to the fire but simply advising and assisting you along the way.

If you would like further help or advice relating to a family matter please contact our Family & Matrimonial team on 01733 882800 or email info@hcsolicitors.co.uk .

Author

Louise Ballantyne – Senior Solicitor

louise.ballantyne@hcsolicitors.co.uk

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.