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What it is, who and how we can help

When contemplating divorce the first image that springs to mind is often an adversarial court based process with the parties and their lawyers being pitted against one another in court. The reality is that huge numbers of cases will be resolved without any application being made to court at all.

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"Payne Hicks Beach are arguably the strongest family law firm in the country, providing enviable strength and depth in both financial and private children law areas” Chambers UK

There is no requirement for parties to issue an application to sort out finances on divorce or to sort out arrangements for children. It is entirely open to the parties to negotiate the terms of an agreement directly between themselves or, more usually, with the assistance of their lawyers. This can be done through correspondence or by holding meetings. A popular option is often to hold a “three room” meeting.  In this instance each party will have a separate room where they can confer with their lawyer. A third room will be available for the lawyers to meet in and negotiate and then return to take instructions from their clients. Another option is to have all parties around the same table.

Negotiation is a very effective way of resolving disputes. It is essential that at the end of any negotiations concerning finances that a Court Order is obtained formalising the agreement.

We explore all options to resolve matters without the need to proceed to court and can guide you on the best way to progress matters.


Usually it is advisable to seek legal advice before signing up to any agreement. Often parties’ think they have reached an agreement but have overlooked crucial factors, for example what will happen to any pension schemes. It is also necessary to have an agreement converted into an order of the court. This is critical as without an order dismissing claims it remains open to one party to make an application to the court in the future.

Yes. We can arrange for you to be situated in separate rooms and for negotiations to take place between the lawyers only with no need for you to come face to face with your ex-partner.

If it is not possible to reach an agreement through negotiation then an alternative route will need to be followed. This may be by making an application to the court or by signing up to arbitration. We can help guide you to the most suitable path for your circumstances.

"The best legal team money can buy. Unbelievably thorough, first-class litigators, highly respected in the field. Supremely well connected internationally and ideally placed to help in cases involving multi-jurisdictional issues" THE LEGAL 500 UK