Resolution, formerly known as The Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA), is holding the fourth Family Dispute Resolution Week from 23-27 November this year. The aim behind this week is to raise awareness of alternatives to going to court for separating couples and families, and to provide advice and support for families facing this situation. This post looks at Family law Resolution week and Resolution’s Code of Practice.
Who are Resolution?
Resolution has over 6,500 members and is comprised of family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales who believe in constructive resolution of family disputes, as opposed to court action. Resolution carries out a number of functions including:
- Developing and promoting high standards of practice
- Supporting family lawyer’s training and development
- Producing training guidelines and codes of practice
- Running an accreditation scheme
- Acting as a voice for family lawyers in England and Wales with the media and government
At the heart of Resolution is the Code of Practice which ensures members uphold the principles of the organisation, mainly surrounding using sensitive and cost effective methods to resolve family law disputes that serve the needs of the entire family, with an emphasis on supporting children.
The Resolution Code of Practice for Family Lawyers
Membership of Resolution obliges family lawyers to commit themselves to resolving family disputes in a non-confrontational way. All members of Resolution must abide by the Code of Practice. The Code of practice can be summarised as follows:
Non-Confrontational Manner – Lawyers who are members of Resolution must not use inflammatory language in either written or spoken communications. They must encourage their clients to do the same and aim to conduct matters in the most amicable way possible.
Consideration – It is important that members of Resolution remain respectful of everyone involved and remain professional. They must take into account the long term consequences of advice given to parties, any suggested action and any communications with families involved in separation.
Encouraging positive behaviour – Resolution members must not only act in a non-confrontational way, but also encourage their clients that this is the best method for resolving disputes. Member’s must encourage clients to be honest in all communications and open about their feelings. However, they must convince clients that it is best for all parties if they convey these emotions in a civilised way, allowing dispute resolution or mediation to succeed.
Focus on Outcome – Members of Resolution are encouraged to focus on potential outcomes and how the situation can best be resolved for all parties. For example, any actions taken must be weighed against the financial implications and emotional effects such actions may have. Members must make clients aware of their options to this end including informing them of; counselling, round table negotiations, collaborative law and mediation. They must also make clients aware of the implications of going to court.
Family Dispute Resolution Week 2015
This year will be the fourth Family Law Dispute Resolution Week, organised by Resolution and will take place between the 23rd-27th November 2015. Throughout the week the organisation will use a variety of methods to assist families in understanding dispute resolution options and raise awareness of the importance of non-confrontational separation and divorce.
One of the main issues Resolution is focussing of for this years campaign is informing parents of how they can help their children through divorce or separation. Resolution have produce a comprehensive guide for parents titled “Separation and Divorce: Helping Parents to Help Children”. Resolution are also running live twitter Q&A sessions for those involved in divorce or separation who may have questions for family lawyers.