- Resolution Together, the new model, follows a ‘one lawyer, two clients’ approach
- New model will work within current regulations and in consultation with SRA
- Webinar available to view for those who want to find out more
The family justice body Resolution has launched a new model of working that allows lawyers to work with and advise couples jointly, including providing appropriate legal advice, through a divorce or separation.
The innovative new model, known as Resolution Together, comes after the implementation of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act which allowed couples, for the first time, to make joint applications to end a marriage collectively.
As a result, Resolution has been able to develop a new approach to serve separating couples which reflects the change in legislation and the desire to reduce unnecessary conflict between individuals to the benefit of all those involved.
It will work by allowing a single legal professional to provide advice to a separating couple who want to manage their separation together. It is suitable for those whose joint aim is to reach an outcome together that meets their needs and if they are parents, the needs of their children.
Resolution is liaising with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to ensure Resolution Together is operating within current regulations, and in order to provide as much support and reassurance for members as possible.
The launch of Resolution Together was recorded and is now available to watch (see above).
Juliet Harvey, National Chair of Resolution, said:
“Throughout our 40-year history, Resolution has pioneered new approaches and new ways of working to minimise conflict and promote a constructive approach to family separation. Resolution Together is a continuation of our vision, as laid out in our Code of Practice.
“Increasingly, clients are expecting, or in some cases demanding, new approaches that we haven’t been able to offer in the past. With the introduction of no-fault divorce and, for the first time, the opportunity to make a joint application that came with it, demand for this type of approach is only going to increase. Indeed, many firms are already providing, or looking to provide, this approach: that’s why we want to provide a way of working under the Resolution banner, in keeping with our Code of Practice.
“Resolution Together offers lawyers and clients an exciting new way to work to help minimise conflict between separating families. It is not a compulsory approach expected of our members, but yet another option for practitioners to help couples reach lasting agreements and minimise conflict for them, and any children they may have.
“We are developing guidance, training, and other resources to help those who want to offer the new model. I’d urge anyone interested in learning more to watch the launch webinar.”
- Resolution is a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way. Our 6,500 members work to a Code of Practice which commits them to practice in a conciliatory way with separating couples and families.
- The principles and standards for Resolution Together refer to the relevant parts of the SRA, BSB and CILEx Codes and lay out how a single lawyer could work with, and advise, a couple together in suitable and appropriate cases and sets out how regulatory issues are to be handled in respect of confidentiality, privilege, information sharing and conflict.
- The standards encompass an outline for practice and a step-by-step flowchart as to how a practitioner should handle a case where the clients indicate they wish to sort things out together, detailing requirements for initial meetings, contracting, advice-giving, and so on, through to final proposals and preparing any draft agreement.
- The importance of initial and ongoing assessment and screening at the start of – and throughout the case – for any factors which would make it inappropriate or unsafe to proceed or continue with advising the couple together are also clearly laid out. There is also a model retainer and Agreement, case study examples and FAQs for practitioners.
- Training and guidance for practitioners who wish to work within the Resolution Together model will be available later this year.
- Resolution is grateful to the John Cornwell Foundation for its generous donation in funding counsel’s opinion on regulatory issues surrounding this work.