Resolution Together is a way of working where you and your former partner agree to work with one solicitor who will provide you with the help and assistance that you need to reach an outcome together. Legal advice is provided to you jointly focusing on the best interests of the family.
How does Resolution Together work in practice?
We will need to meet with you first individually on an entirely confidential basis to discuss the situation with you so that we can let you know if we think Resolution Together is suitable for your particular circumstances.
There are a number of reasons why Resolution Together may not be suitable for your circumstances and if that is the case, then we will give you advice about alternative options for resolving matters.
If we are happy to proceed, then we will arrange a joint meeting at which you will begin by sharing your financial information with each other. We will then advise you as to the law and the likely approach that a Court would take.
We will advise you if we believe we need any extra assistance for example, in relation to detailed pensions advice or taxation.
You will then discuss and try to agree matters together after hearing that advice. Once you have reached an agreement, we will prepare any relevant paperwork ready for submitting to the Court to create a binding agreement between you.
What we can do
- We can advise you together as to how the law applies to your situation, and the legal effects of your agreement.
- We can indicate where we believe there are other professionals who may be able to assist and support you.
- We can indicate where we believe it is essential that there is further input from other professionals such as in relation to tax or pensions.
What we can’t do
- We cannot advise you individually outside of joint meetings.
- We cannot keep information you give us from your partner once we have signed our agreement to deal with matters by way of Resolution Together.
- We cannot make decisions for you.
- We cannot negotiate on your behalf. We will provide you with advice as to the legal position which you will then discuss together in the aim of reaching an agreement.
Frequently asked questions
- What if we disagree as to what is the right way of deciding matters?
We will be giving you advice about the law and about how a Court would approach matters. You then seek to agree the arrangements with that knowledge. If you are not able to agree, then we could consider bringing in a Mediator to try and help you reach an agreement. If there is a difficult legal issue we could potentially involve a Barrister. If there are issues regarding pensions, then we may well need to involve a Pensions On Divorce Expert. We cannot make a decision on your behalf, and we cannot advise you on what you should, or should not, agree to.
- We have already reached an agreement – why do we need to exchange financial disclosure?
We need to advise you about the law and in order to do so we need to fully understand your financial position if we are dealing with resolution of financial matters. We need to advise you as to whether the Court would consider any agreement fair and whether it falls into the range of possible outcomes that the Court would be likely to approve. It is important we tell you if we do not believe the Court would be willing to approve any agreement you have reached.
- What if I want to obtain a second opinion?
You can at any time obtain a second opinion from another Solicitor.
- What if I am worried that my partner will not fully disclose their position or is trying to hide something from me?
If that is the case, Resolution Together is unlikely to be for you because working together in this way relies upon everyone being fully upfront and honest with each other about the overall situation.
- What if we decide to deal with matters by way of Resolution Together but then we change our minds and want to instruct separate solicitors to represent us?
You or we can bring the process to an end if we do not consider it is working well. In that situation the discussions we have had would be without prejudice and as such could not be referred to if there were to be any later Court Proceedings unless you both agreed to waive that privilege and share the information with your respective lawyers. Although our discussions would not be referred to in Court, any financial information shared within Resolution Together will be capable of being used in later Court Proceedings.
- If the process comes to an end or you consider it is not suitable for us, can either one of us go onto instruct you to continue acting on our behalf?
It is unlikely that we will be able to act on your behalf if the process breaks down or we consider that it is not suitable for you. That is because we may be in possession of confidential information that would or could lead to a conflict of interest. There may be limited circumstances in which we could act on behalf of one of you. If you fell within those limited circumstances, then we would notify you at the time but would only act with the consent of you both.
- Why might we need to involve other professionals?
There may be complicated issues concerning pensions or tax that require advice which is outside of our expertise. Or you may need help from a third party if you get stuck in negotiations or you may feel you would benefit from extra support from a family consultant during the Resolution Together sessions.
Please contact our expert, Melanie Pilmer to find out more.