'By Agreement' or 'By the Court' - the process explained

Let us guide and support you when your relationship ends

The majority of issues involving finances or children never go to Court. This is because most are settled by agreement between each party, often with the help of their solicitors or a mediator. Of the cases that do go to Court, most are settled during the proceedings, without reaching a final hearing.


Some couples are able to talk through the practicalities following the breakdown of their relationship and agree on many issues, such as the division of the assets. For others mediation is helpful. We see Court as a final option. Mediation may take place over several sessions and we can assist and advise you throughout the mediation process which, unlike a Court hearing, has the advantage of remaining a private process.

Making your agreements binding

Agreements made through mediation are not in themselves binding and we recommend applying to the Court for a 'Consent Order' to make any agreements reached legally enforceable. You do not have to attend at Court to get a legally binding Court Order. This provides certainty and closure.

Even if you think there is no need for an order, for example you have already divided any assets or there are no assets to consider, it is still worthwhile seeking advice about entering into an agreement, to prevent any claims being made in the future or on either parties death.

If you have reached an agreement over the finances but are not yet ready to divorce, this can be drawn up into a 'Separation Agreement'. We offer fixed fees for preparing a Separation Agreement.

If you cannot reach an agreement

If negotiation and mediation does not work in your case, we can assist you in making an application to the Court to resolve your differences. We will clearly explain what this involves and support you throughout the process. Even though you may have made an application to the Court, that does not mean that you cannot still try and resolve differences before a hearing takes place and we will always work with you to try and find a solution.

What happens if things go to Court?

When couples cannot reach an agreement themselves, the Court will act with discretion, considering all circumstances to reach a decision that it considers to be fair.

Orders a Court can make

The Court can make a variety of orders dealing with the family home and other property, any savings, pensions, business assets and income. These orders can be made either by a Consent Order after an agreement has been reached or after court proceedings. This is then legally binding and provides certainty for the future.