Family Mediation & Arbitration

Geldards is one of very few law firms nationwide to offer a complete range of family law dispute resolution services, including representation, family mediation, collaborative law, family arbitration and Private FDR (Financial Dispute Resolution) Hearings. We pride ourselves in offering a holistic approach, offering clients going through a separation or divorce a flexible way to resolve disputes without the time and cost of going to court.

Family Mediation

It can be very difficult to communicate effectively with a former partner and reach agreement on issues involving finances and children, especially when emotions are running high. Our expert team of Resolution Accredited Family Mediators can help restore the lines of communication and, in a safe, non-pressured environment, provide impartial guidance to help negotiate a swifter, more amicable and affordable resolution to family disputes.

Family mediation is the use of an impartial person to guide disputing parties, help them make informed decisions and develop mutually acceptable agreements within a confidential framework. Mediation provides an alternative way to settle differences without costly courtroom battles, allowing families to control the decisions that affect them, their children and their finances rather than have those decisions imposed by the court.

Fiona Apthorpe, who is also a part time family judge, has had specialist training to enable her, where appropriate, to consult with children in the family mediation process.

Collaborative Law

Collaborative law involves each person appointing their own collaborative lawyer and committing to resolving issues without going to court, resolving their disputes through a series of round table meetings involving the parties and their lawyers. Collaborative law helps the parties to communicate honestly and directly in a supported environment to come to a solution on which they both agree.

Family Arbitration

Geldards are one of the few law firms also to offer Family Arbitration, as well as Private Financial Remedy Dispute Resolution hearings.

Private FDR (Financial Dispute Resolution) Hearings

Geldards offers a private, bespoke, non-court judicial evaluation and negotiation meeting providing an effective and quicker alternative to court negotiated settlements.

Fiona Apthorpe has been a part time judge since 2001 and is an accredited specialist financial remedies and children judge. She is a qualified Family Arbitrator who can accept instructions from the parties directly or via their lawyers to adjudicate on financial remedy cases and make legally binding decisions thus saving the cost and delay of protracted court proceedings. She is also an experienced Private FDR judge.

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What clients say

"Fiona Apthorpe has particular strength and aptitude dealing with high net worth complex financial remedy cases, particularly those involving corporate and agricultural issues. Her strong, pragmatic and decisive approach makes her stand out from and above her contemporaries."

Client, 2021.

"I think you have been brilliant and I’m hoping so much, that I can get things sorted with your mediation expertise."

Client, 2021.

"Thank you for the kind, caring and considerate way in which you conducted our mediation session this morning. I feel that you cared about the situation, and went above and beyond financial settlement matters."

Client, 2021.

"You have been so incredibly professional and have eased me through the process with compassion but appropriate robustness when it has been needed. Everything has been dealt with in a timely fashion."

Family, East Midlands, Legal 500 2021

"Please can you express our thanks and gratitude to Fiona Apthorpe for her time to meet with us last Wednesday for our mediation session…and for the documentation she sent through to us."

Client, 2021.

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