Out of Court Divorce Solicitors

Irwin Mitchell is an excellent firm that is highly responsive and provides superb service.

Chambers & Partners, 2023

Following the breakdown of a relationship, it can be hard to communicate with your ex-partner. It’s natural that you won’t agree about some things, but that does not mean that your divorce will have to be settled in court. There are a number of out of court processes that can help you reach an agreement more quickly and cost effectively.

Our divorce solicitors are expert negotiators and can guide you through the out of court divorce process. We have a large team in major cities across the country, which includes specially trained collaborative divorce lawyers, mediators and arbitrators. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to use one of these out-of-court divorce processes:

  • Mediation – you and your ex-partner discuss the issues between you with an impartial third party (a mediator) and attempt to reach agreement.
  • Collaborative Divorce – you and your ex-partner (and your lawyers) try to negotiate an agreement together.
  • Arbitration – a neutral third party (an arbitrator) decides on your case as if they were a judge in court. This method is useful if you want to keep your divorce out of the public eye, and for the timing of the process to fit around you.

There are many advantages to settling your divorce out of court: it can be much quicker, cost less, not to mention reduce the stress you’re going through. It’s also a much less confrontational way of sorting things out, and can help minimise the effects on your children too.

Out of court divorce doesn’t work for everyone. If you and your ex-partner aren’t honest about your financial circumstances, or aren’t prepared to try and come to an agreement, then your case will need to be decided at court.

Whichever process your divorce has to take – in court or out of it – our experienced lawyers can support you. As one of the UK's leading family law firms, we are highly ranked by independent legal guides Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. We’ll handle your case sensitively and take a no-nonsense approach to getting you a fair divorce settlement. Our lawyers will also give you clear information about costs at the start of your divorce, to help you manage your outgoings.

We've worked on divorce cases of all sizes, including international divorces and with couples who have considerable wealth or complicated business interests. On some occasions we’ve even challenged and changed the law regarding divorce.

If you’d like to find out more about your divorce options, please call our family law experts on 0370 1500 100, or contact us online and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Mediation Support Service – 30-Minute Consultation

Family mediation can be a less confrontational and more cost-effective way to resolve a dispute. We offer a 30-minute consultation with one of our solicitors to discuss your situation and if mediation is right for you.

If you decide to go ahead with mediation, you can benefit from our cost effective mediation support service. This service will give you the advice, support and tools to get the best possible outcome – particularly if you’re representing yourself.

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Clare Wiseman
Clare Wiseman Family Partner and Head of International Family Law Meet the team

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More Information - Out of Court Divorce Solicitors

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"Ros Bever is an excellent lawyer who is passionate about getting things right."

Chambers & Partners, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

What Alternatives Are There To Settling A Divorce In Court?

If you’re getting divorced, it doesn't have to be settled in court. In addition to negotiation between solicitors, collaborative divorce, arbitration and mediation are out of court options that could allow you and your partner to reach an settlement more quickly:

  • Mediation
    You and your ex-partner will try to agree to the terms of your divorce agreement with the help of a trained mediator. The mediator, as an impartial third party, can help you overcome disagreements and find common ground.
  • Collaborative divorce
    You, your ex-partner and your lawyers sit down and come to an agreement about the terms of your divorce through a series of roundtable discussions.
  • Arbitration
    You and your ex-partner submit evidence to a neutral third party (an arbitrator) about your financial circumstances, and the arbitrator then makes a decision on a fair financial settlement.

Our experienced lawyers can advise you on the out of court process that’s right for you. All of our team are expert negotiators, but we also have a number of specialist collaborative divorce solicitors, mediators and arbitrators to support you, whichever route you take.

If you’d like to find out more about settling your divorce out of court, call us on 0370 1500 100 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

What If My Ex-Partner Does Not Cooperate?

When you’re going through a divorce or separation, it can be difficult to communicate, let alone reach an agreement. But while it’s natural to not agree about everything, that doesn’t mean that you both won’t benefit from an out of court process such as mediation.

For out of court divorce to work, the two key things are that you and your ex-partner should be:

  1. Willing to negotiate and reach an agreement
  2. Honest about your financial circumstances and needs

If your ex-partner doesn’t want to cooperate with settling your divorce out of court, we can try to persuade them by providing further information about the benefits of the process. However, sometimes it’s simply not possible to persuade someone to negotiate. In these situations we’ll consider other routes, such as solicitor negotiation and court proceedings.

Every case is different, so to get advice on what service may be best for you and your circumstances, give our expert family law team a call on 0370 1500 100, or contact us online.

What Are The Advantages Of Out Of Court Divorce?

There are many benefits to settling your divorce in an out of court process such as mediation, collaboration or arbitration:

  • Quicker
    An out-of-court divorce is typically completed within six months, compared to the court process which can typically take between nine months and two years.
  • Lower Cost
    Less time spent on the case will mean lower solicitors' fees, and you won't have to pay the extra court costs that come with having your case considered by a judge.
  • Less Stressful
    Out of court divorce can be less confrontational and less stressful than going to court. Minimising stress during the divorce can also help reduce the impact of the process on your children too.
  • Better working relationship with your ex-partner
    Being able to agree your settlement out of court can lay the foundations for a good working relationship in future. If you have children this can be particularly helpful.
  • Flexibility
    Compared to court, processes such as mediation have a lot more flexibility and can fit around your life. In some instances the entire process can be completed without you needing to be there in person.
  • Privacy
    Arbitration has the particular benefit of being completely private, which makes it useful for those in the public eye.

How much benefit you get from using these out-of-court divorce processes will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. For personal advice from one of the UK's leading family law teams, call us on 0370 1500 100, or get in touch online and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

I live in Scotland, can Irwin Mitchell help me?

Our expert family law team works with a number of trusted partners to help our clients with family law issues in Scotland.

We’ll be your point of contact and manage the entire process for you throughout. You’ll get frequent progress updates and we’ll break down any legal jargon into plain English so you’re always in the loop.

To find out more about how we can help, give us a call on 0370 1500 100 or contact us online.

Awards & Accreditations

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

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A Quality Service
The team's breadth of family knowledge and expertise is matched by the resources to deliver a quality service in a timely manner"
A High Level of Service
They consistently endeavour to offer a high level of service to their clients"

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Kids in the middle

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Kids in the Middle is a charity which aims to help children whose parents are going through, or have gone through a divorce.

As a lead partner of the charity, we’re making sure that the views of children are heard when decisions are being made which concern their welfare.

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