private FDR

What is a Private Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) Hearing and how can you make the most of it?

A Private FDR is a version of the second court hearing in financial remedy proceedings called the FDR (Financial Dispute Resolution) Hearing but is where the parties pay privately for the services of a Judge.

Private FDRs have been around for a while but have become increasingly popular as a result of the current delays in the court system and also because of their success rate.

How does a Private Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) Hearing work?

The aim of the FDR or Private FDR is for the Judge to help the parties to reach an agreement on how to resolve their finances following divorce. The Judge gives an indication as to how the finances could be divided between the parties.

A Private FDR has the same purpose as the FDR but both parties pay for the Judge on the day. The Judge is usually a retired Judge or an experienced professional such as a Barrister. Both parties get to decide on the person who acts as a Judge. The cost of the Judge depends on their seniority and usually the fee is split equally.

When the FDR takes place within the court setting you get allocated a set amount of time for the hearing to take place, in which you, or your representative if you have one, need to explain the issues and obtain the indication from the Judge. Usually this is one hour or ninety minutes. Often this does not always leave sufficient time to get an indication on all of the issues involved.

What are the benefits?

  • You have the ability to book and pay for the Judge for as long as you need; which could be a few hours, a whole day or even a few days but you won’t have your time cut short;
  • The Judge has time to read the case in detail and really get to know the crux of the issues in the case in order to provide the best guidance possible;
  • Either party has the opportunity during the Private FDR to go back and ask the Judge questions if they need to. The Judge is easily accessible and readily available for clarification;
  • Both parties are more invested than with a court FDR as they have both had to part with money to be able to obtain the Private FDR;
  • Private FDR’s, if used before any contested proceedings, can reduce the costs and animosity that come with contested proceedings;
  • In our experience Private FDR’s have a higher success rate of achieving a settlement than a court FDR;
  • A Private FDR can take place no matter if you are involved in contested court proceedings or not. If you are in contested proceedings the court can adjourn the court proceedings to allow for the Private FDR and then if this is not successful continue to a final hearing. If you have a Private FDR you would not have to have a court FDR as well; and
  • Private FDR’s can be held remotely via your method of choice and can provide an environment outside of what can be an intimidating court room experience, as you can take part from the comfort of your own home.

If you would like to know more about Private FDRs please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Family Law experts.