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Alternative Dispute Resolution

When faced with Divorce, Separation, or other family disputes, there are several options available to help resolve the issue. These include several Alternative Dispute Resolution options as detailed below.

Collaborative law

The collaborative process is an alternative way for you to resolve matters.

Our trained Collaborative Lawyers will work with you, offering guidance and advice in a series of open, face to face meetings with you and your partner. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss and try to resolve your issues. They can include the assistance of other professionals such as financial specialists and counsellors who will contribute towards a successful negotiation.

Collaborative law can help to establish communication that will last into the future and inevitably contribute to improved cooperation after divorce and separation.

Mediation

Mediation is a cost-effective method of alternative dispute resolution that can avoid the uncertainty of the Court process by allowing a safe space for people to talk through their matrimonial issues. It can help you both make informed decisions that are right for you and your family.

Consultant Solicitor, Susan Alexander, is a Ministry of Justice fully accredited family Mediator trained in financial and children disputes and authorised to meet with children, where appropriate, in child inclusive mediation.

The Government have recently introduced a Family Mediation Voucher Scheme to support separating or divorcing couples in resolving disputes about childcare arrangements. Only Family Mediation Council (FMC) authorised mediators such as Susan Alexander are able to participate in the scheme which sees the Government contributing up to £500 per matter.

Arbitration

Arbitration deals with specific issues such as finances, property and potentially Child Arrangements. By appointing an arbitrator, you and your partner agree to be bound by their final decision.

Speak to our experts

For a FREE initial consultation with our expert Family Lawyers, simply complete the form on this page, call 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk.

Why choose us? Because we are:

Experienced

Our team has in excess of 90 years’ experience of helping, supporting and advising clients, achieving the best possible solutions for them and their children.

Specialists

Members of our team are trained collaborative lawyers and mediators. This specialist knowledge enables us to deal with your family issue in a sensitive, constructive and cost-efficient way.

Understanding

We understand the emotional turmoil and distress that separation and divorce can create. Our promise to you is that we will be by your side, supporting you at every stage, assisting, advising and providing solutions for you and your family.

Who will work on your matter?

A fully qualified lawyer. Your matter will either be handled or supervised by a solicitor with at least 20 years’ experience in this area of work.

Some areas of work may be supported by our Paralegal team.

Administrative duties will be undertaken by our support staff.

As Head of Department, Brenda Spain has overall responsibility for the supervision of all work carried out by her team.

Our Family Law Department

Brenda Spain

Brenda Spain

Wiselaw
Solicitor | Director | Head of Family Law and Litigation Teams
Family Law and Litigation Teams
Qualified 1987
Additional Qualifications: Member of Law Society Family Law Panel, Qualified Mediator
Contact

Hello, I joined Cullimore Dutton in 2019 to take up the position as Head of the Family Law team.

I have been qualified for over 30 years having previously practiced in Worcestershire in a tier one Family Law team. I have considerable experience of dealing with all aspects of family disputes, with particular expertise in:

  • Divorce/separation and finances; particularly those cases involving Businesses, Pensions (NHS, Police, Armed Forces), Farms and Inheritance etc
  • Private children disputes including internal and international relocation
  • Cohabitation disputes
  • Pre and post nuptial agreements
  • Civil partnership disputes
  • Domestic abuse cases

I am also a qualified mediator, a member of the Law Society Family Panel and a member of Resolution.

I appreciate that relationship breakdowns can be a very difficult and overwhelming experience for many. This is where strong support, guidance and understanding is required.

I work extremely hard for clients to resolve matters in a clear, down to earth, professional and approachable way. I am always prepared to go that extra mile to help our clients achieve the best outcome for them and their children whether through the negotiation process or the Court process if Court Proceedings become necessary.

I was recently appointed as Cullimore Dutton’s Training Principal and am delighted to be able to mentor and support colleagues who are entering the legal profession.

I am proud to head a team of very talented lawyers, aspiring lawyers and assistants.

Away from work I enjoy spending time with family and friends and being outdoors with my Labradors. I enjoy sports, music and getting involved in charitable events and good causes.

Susan Alexander

Susan Alexander

Consultant Solicitor
Family Law Team
Qualified 1981 (Scotland), 1994 (England & Wales)
Additional Qualifications: Collaborative law practitioner, Child inclusive mediator, FMCA accredited mediator
Contact

Hello. I joined the firm as a Consultant Solicitor and Family Mediator in May 2016. I am an accredited family law specialist with over 35 years of experience as a family lawyer dealing with all aspects of Family Law, including divorce, separation, children and financial issues, cohabitation disputes and preparation of pre-nuptial agreements and cohabitation deeds.  

I am a fully accredited Family Mediator and provide Child Inclusive Mediation. I practise collaborative law where couples sit round the table with specially trained lawyers to help them reach solutions which are best for them and their children. I promote the benefits to separating couples and their children of having a dialogue together in a safe and supported environment to make decisions that need to be made about money and property and child care arrangements.  

Divorce is not easy nor is it easy to sit down together and talk about how assets should be shared or how child arrangements should be worked out when emotions are running high. Using Family Mediation and Collaborative Law usually means that agreements are reached more quickly and the uncertainty (and costs) of court proceedings are avoided.  

I am an experienced litigator in cases that cannot be resolved by mediation or collaborative law. I take pride in being thought of as an efficient, hardworking yet approachable and supportive solicitor who helps people through a very difficult time. 

My expertise is in: 

  • Family Mediation including child inclusive mediation  
  • Collaborative family law 
  • All aspects of divorce and separation including financial and children issues 
  • Pre and post nuptial agreements 
  • Cohabitation agreements  
  • Cohabitee disputes 
  • Resolution accredited Family Law specialist  

Away from my desk I like to go to the gym and the lawyer’s fit club, I play bridge and I sing in the Rock Choir. I love socialising with my friends and family. I am also involved in organising events for charity. 

Kelly Hughes

Kelly Hughes​

Associate Solicitor
Family Law Team
Qualified 2009
Contact

Hello, I joined the Family Law team at Cullimore Dutton in December 2022 having worked in the Cheshire legal sector for over 13 years. I specialise in all aspects of family law, and have a keen interest in financial matters on divorce and children disputes.

I consider myself to be extremely empathetic and can relate to the challenges clients face having been through divorce myself. I fully understand the difficulties clients face in adjusting to their “new normal” whilst navigating the divorce process, dealing with financial matters and adjusting to co-parenting.

I am a friendly, approachable and down to earth lawyer, and I pride myself on being able to explain the law and legal processes to my clients in a clear and straightforward way.

Outside of the office, I’m a keen aerialist (a person who performs acrobatics high above the ground), a fair-weather runner and I enjoy spending time with my children and our family dog.

Georgina Roberts

Solicitor
Wills & Probate Team
Qualified 2013
Additional Qualifications: Full member of Solicitors for the Elderly
Contact

Hello. I joined Cullimore Dutton in September 2023 where I am part of the Wills, Trusts, and Estates team.

I grew up in West Kirby on the Wirral and completed my Law Degree and Legal Practice Course at the University of Sheffield.

I was really excited to join Cullimore Dutton and I’m enjoying getting to know the rest of the team and the clients – everyone has been so welcoming so far.

Private Client is an interesting area of the law and I really enjoy helping people at what can sometimes be a difficult and stressful time of their lives. I’m also a full member of Solicitors for the Elderly, which means I’m trained to work with older and more vulnerable clients.

Outside of work, I love eating out with my husband and I try to go running three times a week in order to counter this!  I also enjoy spending time with friends and my two cats.

I specialise in all aspects of Private Client work and have expertise in:

  • The creation of Wills
  • Trusts and inheritance tax planning
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Administration of Estates
  • Court of Protection work

I would like to thank you very much for your [mediation] services. I found it very beneficial to have a third party involved to help us come to a better understanding of our situation. I found it especially helpful to be able to voice my concerns whilst being listened to.

Cullimore Dutton Family Law client

Thank you very much for all your help and support in getting this completed. You and the team have been brilliant, and I appreciate you all looking after me so well.

Cullimore Dutton Family Law client