Private FDRs: Private Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings

Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings (FDR’s) are an important stage in most court proceedings where divorcing couples are trying to negotiate the division of their property and finances and reach a financial settlement and it is now becoming increasingly popular to have a private FDR.

At an FDR hearing a Judge hears legal arguments from both the husband’s and the wife’s legal representatives and then give an indication on how they think the dispute should be resolved. The hope is that this indication from the Judge will help facilitate the parties reaching an agreement, failing which the matter is listed for a further court hearing at which point a Judge will make a final decision.

FDR’s are often very effective in helping parties reach an agreed settlement but there are ever increasing court delays and pressures on the courts can lead to inadequate time for Judges to read the case papers and provide the detailed input that they would wish to provide. This has resulted in a rise in the popularity of Private FDR’s.

Private FDR’s are where an experienced family law professional is invited to take the role of the family court judge, but outside of the family court proceedings. The private FDR takes place at a time convenient to both parties and appropriate time is allocated, depending on the complexities of the case, to allow for the best opportunity of the parties reaching a settlement. The private FDR usually takes place in the comfort of a solicitor’s or barrister’s offices as opposed to the often less comfortable court facilities.

Our team of experienced family solicitors can advise you on whether a private FDR is a good option for you and provide advice and representation at a private FDR.

How much does it cost for a Private FDR?

The answer to this question is really dependent on the complexities of the case and who you instruct as a private FDR Judge. The more complex the issues, the more time is needed and the more experienced you would want the FDR Judge to be and therefore the more costly. Once we have an idea of the issues in your case we can provide full cost estimates before you commit to having a private FDR.

What if my former partner does not want to have a Private FDR?

Unfortunately, if this was the case, then you would not be able to proceed. For any negotiations to be successful both parties need to be committed to the process. Having a private FDR is an option that both parties need to agree to.

Talk to us to discuss your Private FDR options

If you are going through a separation or divorce and are considering the Private Financial Dispute Resolution course of action, or if you want to discuss your options confidentially with one of our experienced Family Lawyers, then please get in touch with our Leeds, Sheffield or York offices by calling us on 0330 404 6443, by emailing us or by filling in the enquiry form on this page and letting us know a suitable time to call you back. Our Family Solicitors act regularly for clients across the United Kingdom including Bradford, Birmingham, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, York and Nottingham.  We can support your needs wherever you live in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.

For a no obligation initial consultation please either call the office or leave your details using the contact form at the top of this page.  We’ll be happy to help.

I instructed Chris Burns to advise me in relation to various financial issues which arose following the breakdown of my marriage. My case involved a dispute with my former husband over the ownership and occupation of a significant property with adjacent land. Chris steered me through the process of resolving this. Despite resistance from my former husband, Chris advised me with a determined focus and provided me with clear and pragmatic advice throughout the process and achieved my objective within the proceedings.

Anon

It’s rare to come across someone like Chris (Burns), absolutely clued up in his area, pragmatic and direct, yet supportive and respectful. As clients, he guided us through the process, quickly picking out what was important, remaining focused on the end game and delivering more than we could have expected. We would not hesitate to recommend Chris.

Anon

I would highly recommend Richard (Buckley) at Lupton Fawcett. He understood the difficult and sensitive nature of divorce and was reassuring and professional throughout. He explained the process clearly from the start and was always quick to respond

Charlotte H

'Chris Burns – experienced, capable, easy to talk to, provides an all round specialised knowledge of family work.‘

Legal 500 2021

‘Andy Smith is a fantastic professional and takes pride in his work. He has helped provide guidance on numerous occasions on legal issues to clients of mine and has not engaged in work where it was not needed.‘

Legal 500 2021

Lupton Fawcett have a great team and they are always friendly and approachable which is not something that can be said for all legal firms. They are not pushy for work and give plenty of time to think about whether or not you wish to engage them as a firm.‘

Legal 500 2021
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Chris Burns, Head of Family Law, discusses the new divorce laws

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