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Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme: Template

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 8 Feb 2017 |
 
Adr Mediation Letter Template Disputes

There is a huge number of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options available to those who do not wish to resort to litigation. It can, however, be difficult to know where to start. First, you will need to know whether the person with whom you are in a dispute belongs to a trade association or has membership of an organisation that offers a structured form of ADR. If this is the case, this will be the best place to start. Organisations differ in the way that they require parties to approach ADR so your first port of call should be the specific scheme that you are seeking to use. If there are no template letters, or there is no particular way to start the ADR process, you may wish to use the basic template below.

Costs Warning

One of the things worth considering in terms of dispute resolution is how your conduct could be perceived should you have to take the case to court. You are less likely to be penalised on costs if you can demonstrate that you have taken adequate steps to resolve the matter, before resorting to proceedings. If the other party turns down ADR when it is offered, it may reflect badly on them if they then lose the case at court. This could also apply to you, so if you are offered some form of ADR you should be aware of the implications if you refuse to cooperate.

Template LetterDear Sir or Madam:

Re: ADR Invitation/Notice to Mediate (whichever applies)

We are writing with reference to the matters that are presently in dispute between us (insert details of the dispute). We are mindful of the Civil Procedure Rules and are seeking a mutually satisfactory settlement of this issue. As a result, we are informing you of our willingness to cooperate in voluntary, non-binding and confidential mediation.

In order to facilitate this, we hereby propose that a neutral mediator from (insert name of organisation/trade association/other) should be appointed by consent to assist us with this matter. We are seeking this resolution in order to avoid resorting to litigation or other disposal of the case. We confirm that we agree that the Mediation shall be entirely confidential and conducted on a without prejudice basis. Nothing disclosed within the mediation shall be admitted in evidence in any future court or other proceedings.

In good faith we therefore invite you to participate in mediation. If you are not willing to attempt this form of dispute resolution, we hereby notify you of our right to produce this letter for the consideration of the court, should the issue of costs become necessary (CPR 44.4-5).

We therefore await your response to our invitation. Please note that we would respectfully request a response no later than (insert time) on (insert date) of (insert year.)

Yours faithfully

(your name)

If you do not receive a response by the time and date specified in your letter, you may consider resorting to litigation. For the purposes of the CPR, by writing this letter you have shown that you are only going to court as all other attempts at resolution have failed. Bear in mind that you should give the other side a reasonable amount of time to respond (e.g. 14 days).

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Alf - Your Question:
Hi, I have a contact order for my 12yo daughter since 2011 (3 weekends and half of each half term; but her mother and I agreed that she would be staying with me each whole half term. Things were going well, I took my daughter and the rest of my family on holidays in December 2016. I had an augurent with my ex when I came back from holidays about dropping off arrangements and child support payment. My daughter sent me a text around the 28th thanking me for some pocket money I gave her whilst on holidays. Since Then, I haven't been able to contact my daughter nor her mother; my number, my wife's and my other daughter who is 10yo have all been blocked on their WhatsApp, phone etc We all tried to initiate contact in any way possible but no luck.I, then resorted to send her a letter this week Monday, with a copy of the contact order, reminding her she needed to give me access to our daughter. I also included a meeting arrangement half way for this February half term. Today, I received a text from my ex email allegedly from my daughter saying that she didn't want to see me anymore and that she prefers living with her mum. I replied asking my daughter to call me and talk to me about her decision but she sent the same message again. Since there is no communication, shall I just go back to court again to have the order enforced? Also the fact that my daughter allegedly doesn't want to see me anymore, I'm concerned that her mother will force her to lie about me. Could you please help me with some advice, thanks a lot.

Our Response:
I think under these circumstances you may wish to seek legal advice and ask your solicitor to write a letter to your ex regarding the breach. Then, if she chooses to ignore the letter, you will have to take the matter back to court. I'm afraid we cannot anticipate what opinions your daughter may have - but you really have no other option other than to leave it and let your ex get her way.
SeparatedDads - 9-Feb-17 @ 3:01 PM
Hi, I have a contact order for my 12yo daughter since 2011 (3 weekends and half of each half term; but her mother and I agreed that she would be staying with me each whole half term. Things were going well, I took my daughter and the rest of my familyon holidays in December 2016. I had an augurent with my ex when I came back from holidays about dropping off arrangements and child support payment. My daughter sent me a text around the 28th thanking me for some pocket money I gave her whilst on holidays.Since Then, I haven't been able to contact my daughter nor her mother;my number, my wife's and my other daughter who is 10yo have all been blocked on their WhatsApp, phone etc We all tried to initiate contact in any way possible but no luck. I, then resorted to send her a letter this week Monday, with a copy of the contact order, reminding her she needed to give me access to our daughter. I also included a meeting arrangement half way for this February half term. Today, I received a text from my ex email allegedly from my daughter saying that she didn't want to see me anymore and that she prefers living with her mum. I replied asking my daughter to call me and talk to me about her decision but she sent the same message again. Since there is no communication, shall I just go back to court again to have the order enforced? Also the fact that my daughter allegedly doesn't want to see me anymore, I'm concerned that her mother will force her to lie about me. Could you please help me with some advice, thanks a lot.
Alf - 8-Feb-17 @ 11:43 PM
Hodgey - Your Question:
Hi, my ex this weekend out of the blue told me I was no longer having any contact with my 2 young children. She has blocked my number on everything and cut off all contact methods with my children and her. I have been so distraught and constantly getting upset as I am very close to both my children. I managed to speak to my 11 year old daughter by ringing her school and asking to speak with her. I told her I loved her and that it was her mum who didn't want me to see them and that it may be a while before I see them and to look after her little brother too while I just broke down on the phone. I want to know what I can do to see them. We have been separated for nearly two years now so still married. I feel like going to my daughters school and just taking her away for a few hours but would this look bad on me or could I get into trouble? Mothers who use their kids as a weapon should be locked up as she is not only hurting me but the children too.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this and it must be very difficult for you. However, I would not advise you to go to the school and take your child as this would raise concern and would not be condoned by the courts. In the first instance you may wish to seek legal advice, and ask a solicitor to send a letter to your ex requesting re-instatment of access, or to attend mediation in order to try to resolve the issues between you. The letter should outline your rights as a father and specify you will take the matter to court if access is not reinstated. If the letter is ignored, you will then be allowed to apply to court, please see link here. I know this is hard for you currently, but please be assured that the courts do want fathers to have contact with their children. You don't say what the reasons are why your ex has stopped contact, but unless your ex can justify her reasons, then contact will be awarded through the courts. Once a court order is in place, then your ex will have to adhere to it. I shall also post your question on our Separated Dads Facebook page, please refer to it for further answers and advice. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 8-Feb-17 @ 12:13 PM
Hi, my ex this weekend out of the blue told me i was no longer having any contact with my 2 young children. She has blocked my number on everything and cut off all contact methods with my children and her. I have been so distraught and constantly getting upset as i am very close to both my children. I managed to speak to my 11 year old daughter by ringing her school and asking to speak with her. I told her i loved her and that it was her mum who didn't want me to see them and that it may be a while before i see them and to look after her little brother too while i just broke down on the phone. I want to know what i can do to see them. We have been separated for nearly two years now so still married. I feel like going to my daughters school and just taking her away for a few hours but would this look bad on me or could i get into trouble? Mothers who use their kids as a weapon should be locked up as she is not only hurting me but the children too.
Hodgey - 7-Feb-17 @ 9:43 PM
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