Family Lawyers Use to Resolve Disputes | Highland Law
Family disputes following separation or divorce are never simple and are likely to create tension and stress. Depending on the nature of the disagreements, there is sometimes a need to hire family lawyers.

Family lawyers often use negotiation, mediation, collaborative law, arbitration and parenting coordination as methods to resolve disputes. Deciding which approach is best for you will be dependent on your situation and the path you and your family lawyer want to take.


Family law negotiations involve discussions between spouses to reach a compromise on the issues that arise in divorce or separation. Negotiation can be done with or without lawyers involved. However, it is wise to hire a lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected.

The decisions reached through the negotiation process are placed in writing. This is used as a point of reference and a fail-safe for the parties to uphold the agreement.

Collaborative law

Collaborative law is a kind of organized negotiation in which the parties and their lawyers agree in writing not to go to court but to work together to settle. As the need arises, other professionals, like counsellors, can be employed to assist with different aspects of the process.

Collaborative family law aims to achieve a satisfactory settlement in an efficient, cooperative manner that meets the parties’ needs.


Mediation is a form of Assisted Dispute Resolution where a trained, non-biased mediator helps the parties reach agreements on family law issues. This mediator, however, cannot help the parties make a decision nor give legal advice. The mediator can only guide the process.

A mediator assists each person to talk about their issues and what needs they want to be met. The mediator then helps the parties negotiate to resolve these issues. The fact that mediation typically involves direct discussion with the other party means it is not appropriate for everyone. It proves rather useful for parties who started a court action but still want to try to settle out of court.

If a settlement is reached, the terms of the settlement can be outlined in a separation agreement, in minutes of settlement or consent order, depending on the circumstances and the preferences of the parties.


The process of arbitration involves the parties in dispute agreeing to allow a neutral person, namely the arbitrator, to decide the solution to legal issues. The arbitrator listens to each party’s evidence and arguments and then makes a decision.

Arbitration is a private process. It is more informal than a court trial, and the parties must pay the arbitrator.

Parenting Coordination

In the parenting coordination process, parents hire a parenting coordinator and sign a parenting coordination agreement. The parenting coordination agreement outlines the parents’ rights and responsibilities to each other and the scope of the parenting coordinator’s services and authority.

Usually, a parenting coordinator is a senior family lawyer, psychologist or counsellor.

Surrey family lawyers

If you are looking for a family lawyer in Surrey, Highland Law is the firm you need.

We are aware that family law is an evolving area of law that requires careful planning and action, and we are committed to providing effective legal solutions.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our Surrey family lawyers to discuss your case.