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One Lawyer, One Couple

One Lawyer, One Couple

Birketts can offer a more conciliatory route for those seeking to resolve their family differences together. This would involve the couple being represented by the same lawyer for their dispute, on an impartial and neutral basis.   The experienced lawyer will be able to give an unbiased, professional assessment of the likely outcome that a Court would consider to be fair.  This enables the couple to negotiate constructively and in a safe environment. 

How does this work (in simplistic terms)

  1. Individual meeting

You each meet the lawyer individually to discuss your objectives.  The lawyer will make sure that the process is safe for the individual to enter by undertaking safeguarding checks.  The lawyer will explain the other alternatives to one couple, one lawyer so you each make an informed decision on whether this is the best approach and meets your needs.  We will ask each of you to complete an online questionnaire before the individual meeting.  We will also assess whether you are each ready to move to the first joint meeting.

2. Joint meetings

You have a joint meeting with your lawyer.  At this stage you will be exploring and preparing a list of documentation that might be required.  We will be looking at the issues which matter the most to each of you, and what you each hope to achieve.  Where appropriate we may suggest involvement with other professionals to support the process.

3. Settlement option meetings

At this meeting, we discuss your financial proposals/options, and arrangements for your children, whichever may be necessary.  We will consider with you what this will mean for you and your family, moving forward.

4. Reaching Agreement

We provide you with a breakdown of your options and suggested proposals.   By the end of the joint meetings an agreement is reached. 

5.  Consideration and Reflection

You will both need time to think carefully about the agreement, and where appropriate, to take independent advice (this could be legal advice or financial advice).  We will allow a 14 day period to give each of you time to reflect on the proposed agreement.

6.  Implementation

If agreed, we draft a legally binding agreement that , if required, can be lodged with the Court upon divorce, or a Parenting Plan and (if required) a draft order in children matters.

Why might this approach be taken?

Minimises cost

One set of legal fees, rather two. 

Seeks to avoid Conflict

The lawyer will be working for each and both of you, to secure the best outcome for your family in a fair and reasoned way.  This avoids two opposing lawyers each seeking the best possible outcome for their individual client which can lead to animosity, anxiety, increased costs and stress.


Joint discussions avoid letters going back and forth – what can be dealt with in one joint meeting might take 3 months in correspondence.  A quicker resolution enables everyone to get on with their life.


You will retain control over your situation, enabling you to tailor your settlement to the needs and priorities of your separated family. 

Proposals in mediation

You may have already agreed matters in mediation and simply wish for those proposals to be drawn up into a binding court order.  One couple, one lawyer avoids the need for   you to each instruct your own lawyer, thereby avoiding potential conflict but enabling you both to receive advice on the mediated proposals to make sure they are fair.

Does it suit every situation?

No, it does not, and our lawyers are trained in making sure the process is suitable and safe.  Examples of where it might not be appropriate are as follows:-

Our approach follows the Resolution Together model and our lawyers offering this service are highly experienced and have trained with Resolution in delivering this approach to separating couples.

For more detailed information, please speak with Juliet Harvey on +44 1473 406396 or [email protected].

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For general enquiries please call +44 (0)808 169 4320 or send a message from our Contact us page.