Mishcon de Reya page structure
Site header
Main menu
Main content section

NCDR in family cases

When it comes to making arrangements regarding children or finances after separation, couples are increasingly choosing to avoid court proceedings and are instead turning to non-court dispute resolution. This Non-court dispute resolution has advantages over court proceedings in that it is tailored to the families' needs, takes place at their chosen pace and is confidential (unlike Court based financial proceedings).

The Mishcon non-court dispute resolution (NCDR) Hub offers a bespoke resolution service, assisting separated couples in achieving a suitable outcome with less cost and acrimony.  From an initial consultation where we discuss the available options to final agreement or adjudication, we can support you in whichever approach is right for your circumstances.


Mediation involves discussion facilitated by a neutral mediator with a view to reaching an agreement. The mediator will hold an initial meeting to ensure the situation is appropriate for mediation and to discuss how best to move things forward. The process is confidential and the mediator will be entirely independent from the couple and their respective solicitors (should they have them). Whilst the mediator can facilitate and encourage discussions between separated parents or couples, overall resolution can only be reached by agreement. We offer in-house mediation and engage in co-mediation (where two mediators are involved) where appropriate.

Early Neutral Evaluation/Private FDR

A solicitor, barrister or retired Judge can be appointed jointly by a separated couple to provide an indication regarding issues in dispute. The indication provided can assist the parties in negotiating an overall agreement. This process is most commonly used in cases involving disagreements regarding finances, and, even where court proceedings have commenced and can take the place of the financial dispute resolution (FDR) hearing at court. Early neutral evaluation can also be helpful in cases where there are disagreements regarding arrangements for children and is increasingly being used in this context. We advise and represent couples engaging in early neutral evaluation or a private FDR and a number of our practitioners can act as evaluators.


Where issues remain, an arbitrator can be jointly appointed by a couple to make a decision in respect of their dispute. Parties appreciate the speed, flexibility and confidential nature of arbitration, which can take place at a venue of their choice and avoids the need for contested proceedings through court. The determination is made by an agreed arbitrator with expertise in the particular area in dispute and on a timetable designed to suit the couple.

Parents or couples who choose to use our NCDR Hub can select the services that best suit their circumstances. Whether that's a form of some light-touch assistance at a particular point in their discussions, or full engagement with mediation, early neutral evaluation or seeking an arbitral decision if a negotiated resolution isn't found, we will support them in finding a bespoke solution that works best for their family and their future.

How can we help you?

How can we help you?

Subscribe: I'd like to keep in touch

If your enquiry is urgent please call +44 20 3321 7000

Crisis Hotline

I'm a client

I'm looking for advice

Something else