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.

Mr Richard Buckley of Lupton Fawcett ,gave me excellent advice and help recently with a legal document .In these times when little face to face contact is possible he was always available on the phone and made the experience trouble free and very satisfactory

Clare White

"I instructed Chris Burns to advise me in relation to my divorce and financial issues following the breakdown of my marriage. One of the key issues in the case was whether a long period of cohabitation would be factored in when considering the length of the marriage and the financial settlement I would be entitled to. During the course of the case, Chris provided me with clear and consistent advice and was able to deal robustly with the other party. I achieved an outcome I was very happy with and was very pleased with the advice and service levels which Chris and his team provided me with."


Richard Buckley represented me in, what turned out to be, highly contested court proceedings . Richard was very professional, knowledgeable and meticulous in his approach and he fought my corner when necessary. My divorce was not an easy one; it was very stressful but Richard always listened, put me at ease and took time to explain everything to me, making sure I understood his advice. He is very good at listening and keeping me on track. Richard doesn’t make me feel like a number, but a valued client. If anyone is looking for a family solicitor, I would not hesitate in recommending Richard.

Mr D Pickles

I cannot recommend Lupton Fawcett enough, I have just been through a very complicated and high conflict financial divorce but throughout the whole experience Richard Buckley and Chris Burns were always on hand to give reassurance, incredibly sound advice and straightforward explanations when things got difficult. For anyone who finds themselves in a difficult situation I highly recommend this firm, it’s the best decision you’ll make.

Nicola Shuttleworth

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.


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.


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Chris Burns, Head of Family Law, discusses the new divorce laws - Video Thumbnail

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

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