Resolution Solicitors

9.1 Introduction

Resolution Solicitors believe in using an approach which is sensitive, constructive, cost-effective and most likely to result in an agreement. To achieve this, Resolution members follow a Code of Practice.

The original Association was created in 1982 when there was widespread concern that Solicitors and Court procedures were adding to the distress and anger that can arise when family relationships break down. Our members believe that Solicitors should deal with matters in a way designed to preserve people’s dignity and encourage them to reach agreement. The result will often be to achieve the same or more satisfactory solutions than going to Court but at less cost – in terms of emotion and money.

Most importantly, this approach is more likely to encourage family members to deal with each other in a civilised way. For example, it helps parents to put their own differences aside and to agree arrangements that are best for their children. Experience shows that agreed solutions are more likely to work in the long term than arrangements imposed by a Court. Even when proceedings are necessary, it is best for the whole family if the proceedings are conducted in a constructive and realistic way rather than as if in the midst of a war zone.

What is Resolution?

We are an association of over 5,000 Solicitors who agree to follow this Code of Practice. The Law Society recommends that all Solicitors practising family law should follow this Code. Our members should explain the Code to their clients, as it will form the basis of the approach that they adopt.

We are actively involved in law reform, both initiating improvements and responding to proposals for change.

We provide education for our members to equip them to deal with both the legal and practical issues of family breakdown and its emotional consequences. We encourage mediation and counselling where appropriate.

Our members vary from newly-qualified Solicitors to those with many years of experience. However, membership is not a guarantee of excellence or legal ability.

We produce guidance on good practice in specific areas of family law work.

Keeping to the Code is not a sign of weakness. It does not expose the client to disadvantage. The approach the Solicitor adopts should be firm and fair. Solicitors are not prevented from taking immediate and decisive action where necessary. Even when there are ongoing discussions, Court proceedings may be started and continue at the same time in case negotiations do not produce an agreement.

The Code is not a straightjacket. Its guidelines cannot be absolute rules. It may be necessary to depart from the Code if professional rules or duties require it.

8.3 – What if your grandchildren live with you?

9.2 – Code of Practice for Resolution members