Round Table Meetings – Family Law
I have been practising Family Law for twenty four years and have been involved in thousands of cases involving Domestic Violence, Arrangements For Children, Divorce, Separation, Dissolution of Civil Partnerships, Financial Settlements, Co-habitation.. You name it, anything to do with the break up of a relationship and I have been involved from a legal perspective.
The law changed recently meaning that if you wish to issue proceedings in the family court then you must attempt some form of Mediation before doing so. Round Table Meetings are a type of Mediation. The advantage is that you can have your lawyer present with you during the meeting. At Emmersons Solicitors we have been involved in Round Table Meetings for years. Long before Mediation was ever mentioned.
In most cases it should be possible for a couple to reach a compromise without the need for costly court proceedings. One way of doing this is for you and your solicitor to meet with your ‘ex’ and their solicitor. If the matter is about who will see the children, how often and where, then the meeting could take place quite quickly.
In one case that I dealt with, a couple had split up because my client, the Dad, had started a relationship with another woman. His wife was understandably furious and hurt. My client just couldn’t see this. He wanted to see his young son but he also wanted the little boy to stay overnight with him and his new girlfriend. The little boy was very confused and upset.
I therefore arranged a Round Table Meeting. Mum and Dad turned up as did Mum’s solicitor. It was not an easy meeting. Mum needed to let off steam. She hadn’t had the opportunity to speak to our client since he had left her. The first twenty minutes were quite tense. However, eventually with a little guidance from me and Mum’s solicitor, the couple did reach an agreement.
Dad was able to understand that Mum was being protective of her child. He agreed to start seeing his little boy on his own without his girlfriend being present. That way father and son could build up a new relationship over a period of time. It was to be months before the little boy was introduced to his Dad’s new girlfriend. That way he could cope with one thing at a time.
That case was sorted out in one afternoon. Everyone present put a huge amount of effort into making the situation work. However, for me it was a good day’s work. The family were able to express their feelings freely; this is usually not possible within the court arena. They were also able to settle matters quickly, thus reducing the stress that builds up during the lengthy court process. More importantly the couple saved themselves thousands of pounds by avoiding the court route.
If you feel that you need help regarding Round Table Meetings, please contact us now for an initial chat:
Book your ‘Next Steps’ Divorce Advice Session at our Newcastle office: 0191 284 6989
Book your ‘Next Steps’ Divorce Advice Session at our Sunderland office: 0191 567 6667
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