The Resolution revolution puts families first

The Resolution revolution puts families first

Aaron Keene, a solicitor at The Wilkes Partnership in Birmingham, is also the West Midlands chair of Resolution, a national group of family lawyers. Here, he looks at how Resolution is helping lead the way as the role of the family courts changes.

Increasingly clients do not want their cases dealt with by traditional court proceedings which often bring long delays and great expense. Now there is a fresh approach with Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to dealing with issues in a constructive and non-confrontational way.  

It is accepted that some cases cannot be resolved without recourse to the courts, but there is more than one way to deal with a family law case.

Family law solicitors are adept at narrowing the issues between parties who are suffering the trauma of marital or relationship breakdown. Resolution lawyers particularly concentrate on the welfare of the children and are backed by a code of conduct to ensure that these ideals are met.  

Resolution and family lawyers have a wide range of strategies to deal with disputes, from  correspondence to mediation, a process whereby a couple are referred to a neutral third party to help them reach their own informed decisions by negotiation.  There is also collaborative law where highly trained family lawyers look to resolve family law issues at a series of four-way meetings.

Resolution is committed to making sure any changes are for the benefit of families, including its most recent campaign for a no-fault divorce. The last thing a couple should be doing when their relationship breaks down is arguing about the reasons for it.Concentrating on sorting out the arrangements for their children and dealing with their financial issues should be the priority.

Each local region has a regional chair and committee to bring together the legal communities in those areas - a driving force for lawyers to work together for the benefit of clients.

In July this year we launched a Litigants in Person Scheme, where local solicitors join a rota once a year to provide free advice to litigants in person at the family court in Birmingham – an issue which is becoming a growing problem.  When a person does not have a lawyer it usually leads to delays in the process and lengthy hearings so by providing this advice we are not only assisting that individual but also other court users.

We are always looking at ways to let other parts of our profession and other professionals know more about the services that we can provide to their clients who unfortunately find themselves with family law issues to resolve. There are always more creative solutions to be found, and by working together as part of Resolution we can look for those solutions.We recognise that sometimes it is not possible to sit around a table and deal with matters, so all Resolution members are able to make the appropriate court applications where necessary, for example where children are in danger of suffering harm or assets need to be preserved.

The president of the family division, Sir James Munby, has said that an entirely digitalised and paperless family court can be achieved in the next four years. With such a rapid pace of change, clients with family law issues need to know they are in safe and proactive hands, as provided by Resolution members.

If you would like further information on Resolution West Midlands, contact Aaron Keene on 0121 785 4400 or