When going through relationship break up clients want and deserve certainty of process. They want an end game clarity on the process that gets them from A to B without the uncertainty that can surround the current options available to them.
They have goals and pressures and personal objectives that the current system doesn't always meet (for example, a deadline of a child needing to change school). They want to know as they start this process that within 6 months or less the matter will be concluded so they can move on with their lives.
Clients also want to know that they are being assisted by true experts in their field, who know the process, and they want the reassurance of knowing that the people engaged in that process have a level of expertise to help them achieve a resolution. Parties want the opportunity to resolve matters sensibly but also to know that they cannot resolve matters between themselves, there is a process in place where a decision will be made with minimal delay.
Clients want their choice of expert to guide them through the entire process - beginning to end - at a cost they are prepared to pay.
The family justice court system has, for a long time, suffered as a consequence of underfunding which regrettably gives rise to inordinate delay. This in turn causes the lives of couples who are separating to be placed on “hold” and to the escalation of legal fees.
It was with this in mind that the founder members of the Certainty Project, Julian Bremner, Margaret Kelly and Karin Walker, decided to work on the creation of an out of court process which would mirror the court system in terms of adjudication if required but would provide separating couples with a mechanism to resolve issues between them either by agreement or adjudication within a time frame of six months which would mirror the duration of the divorce process.
The intention of the Certainty Project is to draw on the skill set of the family law community to provide a service which in turn represents “certainty” for those who choose to use it. The appointed Arbitrator will provide a point of contact throughout and oversee the process, being available to make interim decisions as necessary. The solicitors will deal with all of the work relating to gathering financial information or setting the scene so far as children act proceedings are concerned.
The couple will pass first into the process of mediation (classic or hybrid) to see if, with the assistance of a facilitating mediator they can construct their own agreement with advice from their respective lawyers in the wings.
In the event that all issues are resolved the lawyers will prepare an application for order by consent following an award or determination by the Arbitrator which reflects the agreement.
If some or all issues require adjudication the matter will pass to the Arbitrator who, through discussion with the parties and their lawyers, will construct the manner in which the arbitration will be dealt with so that an adjudication can be provided. This in turn will be converted into an order of the court.
The Certainty Project is intended to provide an alternative which is both time and cost efficient removing the delay and uncertainty of date, location and duration which sadly is a recurrent difficulty experienced within the court system.