The North East’s Top Divorce and Family Law Specialist, Joanne Major comments it may seem strange using “happy” to describe divorce but many couples who have dealt with their separation, not through the traditional litigation process but by using alternative dispute resolution methods, would say it is very apt.

One such increasingly used method is the collaborative law process.  This is a legal process which enables couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with specialist collaboratively trained family lawyers in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of court proceedings and the inherent anxieties that arise within that process.  In the collaborative process, each party is assisted by his or her own lawyer and, on occasions, other family professionals, to achieve the settlement that best meets the specific needs of both those parties and their children and without the underlying threat of contested litigation.  The process commences when each couple signs a contract (the “Participation Agreement”) which binds each party to the process and disqualifies both lawyers from representing either party in any future family related litigation.

For one divorcee’s experience of the collaborative process go to

Resolution, the association for specialist family lawyers, is sponsoring Family Dispute Resolution Week from 25th to 29th November 2013.  The aim is to promote awareness of non-confrontational methods of resolving family breakdown such as the collaborative law process, mediation and arbitration.  As part of Family Dispute Resolution Week, Resolution is launching a new advice guide,

’Separating Together: Your options for separation and divorce.’ The guide is designed to help separating couples understand and explore non-court based methods of resolving issues arising on the breakdown of a relationship.

More information on the National Family DR Week can be found at