Good Divorce Week 2022 at a time of delay and backlogs

The leading organisation for family solicitors, Resolution, has nominated 28 November to 2 December 2022 as this year’s Good Divorce Week.  Sadly, despite the positive connotations, it’s not something to celebrate.

There are significant delays and backlogs within the family court system, which are worsening and causing uncertainty and stress for those involved.

Cases involving applications by parents and carers for Child Arrangement Orders typically take just under a year to reach their conclusion, during which time families may not know with whom their child or children will ultimately live or where they will go to school.

Cases involving financial matters on divorce are commonly taking 12-18 months to reach a conclusion, unless the parties can agree an outcome sooner.

Good Divorce Week is about raising awareness of the state of the court system and how improvements can be made.  Resolution is engaged in speaking to MPs and practitioners and parties to proceedings to try and find solutions to problems caused by the covid backlog, the lack of judges and insufficient court resources.

It is always advisable to try and settle a dispute out of court, either through direct discussions, or with the assistance of mediators and or solicitor.  Here at Herrington Carmichael, we recognise the importance of explaining to our clients the varied dispute resolution options available to them.

Discussion “at the kitchen table”

It is often possible for separating parties to discuss matters between themselves and then consult with us to assist them in obtaining a concluded and legally binding agreement.

Solicitor negotiation

Where parties cannot talk between themselves, we will assist parties to find an agreed way forward by engaging in negotiation through written correspondence.


Reaching an agreement in mediation can be quicker and less expensive than using solicitors or being legally represented in court proceedings.

Mediators are impartial and will reality check outcomes  suggested by the parties to ensure that they do not enter an agreement that disadvantages them or which does not pass the legal test of fairness.


The parties can choose an arbitrator, who will be a specialist family lawyer such as a solicitor, barrister or Judge, to hear their dispute and give a ruling, known as an “award”.  Arbitration is an alternative to Court, with the advantages being speed, flexibility and confidentiality.

Collaborative law

Each party can instruct a collaboratively trained solicitor to assist them in a number of 4-way meetings (office or Teams based) to try and secure an agreed outcome.  The cornerstone of collaboration is the agreement not to apply to the court, but instead to agree a settlement out of court.

By adopting one or a combination of the above dispute resolution options, separating parties will often find an agreed outcome and avoid the emotional and financial cost of contested court proceedings and of losing ownership of the arrangements for their financial future or the arrangements for the future care of their children.

Partner, Family Law
 01276 854 924


The Legal Room UK Podcast features a diverse range of specialists offering expertise on a variety of topics.
Subscribe on whatever podcast platform you use.

Top Legal Insights

Material Breach of Contract

What is a ‘material’ breach of contract by a party to a commercial contract? This is a critical issue regularly considered by the courts. What constitutes a material breach and what are the remedies?

Commercial Lease: The Financial impact on Landlord and Tenant

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the restrictions now in place to control its spread, are having a significant effect on many business sectors.

Divorce in Lockdown: Can I get some discreet legal advice?

We have spoken to clients who are unfortunately experiencing some family issues, and would like to obtain expert legal advice, yet don’t know how…

Land & Property Dispute

Restrictive Covenants – The Price of Modification

Having identified that your land is burdened by a restrictive covenant and for the purposes of this article the covenant in question will be that only one residential building can be erected on the land. What do you do next?

Wills, Trusts and Probate

Why is having a will so important?

It is entirely up to you if and when you want to create a Will, but it is important to be aware of the consequences of not having a Will.

Award winning legal advice

We are solicitors in Camberley, Wokingham and London. In 2019, Herrington Carmichael won ‘Property Law Firm of the Year’ at the Thames Valley Business Magazines Property Awards, ‘Best Medium Sized Business’ at the Surrey Heath Business Awards and we were named IR Global’s ‘Member of the Year’. We are ranked as a Leading Firm 2023 by Legal 500 and Alistair McArthur is ranked in Chambers 2022.

Building 2  Watchmoor Park, Riverside Way, Camberley, Surrey  GU15 3YL
+44 (0)1276 686 222

Reading (Appointment only)
The Abbey, Abbey Gardens, Abbey Street, Reading RG1 3BA
+44 (0)1276 686 222

Ascot (Appointment only)
102, Berkshire House, 39-51 High Street, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7HY
+44 (0)1344 623388

London (Appointment only)
60 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4JS
+44 (0)203 326 0317

Wokingham (Appointment only)
The Workstation Wokingham, Markham House, 20 Broad Street, Wokingham, RG40 1AH

+44 (0)118 977 4045


Sarah Speed
Partner, Head of Family
View profileContact Us

This reflects the law and market position at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought in relation to a specific matter.

Latest Legal Insights

Best Law Firms 2024

Herrington Carmichael has once again been named in the Times Best Law Firms. We were first listed in 2023 and have once again made the Best Law Firms list for 2024.

Best Law Firm 2024