WHEN a marriage breaks down, sorting out practicalities might be the last thing on someone’s mind.

However, aside from the emotional strain, there can be financial settlements, arrangements for children and cohabitation issues to be deal with.

Essex Family Solutions is a one-stop shop for dealing with break-ups, divorce and separations. Created as an alternative to the court process, the team incorporates independent financial advisers, counsellors, family therapists, mediators, children’s experts, solicitors and barristers.

Based in Chelmsford, the business launched last week and the team work all over Essex with clients in family disputes.

Karen Taylor, a family solicitor and divorce specialist for Essex Family Solutions, says: “When a relationship breaks down, feelings can run high and anger, fear, blame and regret all make finding a resolution harder.

“Sometimes the only solution seems to be to go to court, but that can be exhausting and expensive. We are offering an alternative which is less stressful, quicker, cheaper and more amicable.”

Karen believes this approach to dealing with family disputes is unique. She says: “There are collaborative companies who recommend financial advisers and counsellors, but do not work directly with them.

“We work directly with trained professionals. All services are provided by members within the group, meaning all expertise and knowledge can be accessed in one easy step.”

All of the Essex Family Solutions team are members of Resolution, a national organisation committed to a code of practice.

Lawyers within the group are chosen by the parties and a series of meetings take place. Other experts are called in if needed to assist with a negotiated overall settlement.

The parties sign an agreement confirming they will not issue court proceedings.

The group can deal with arrangements for children, financial settlements, family business disputes, cohabitation issues and civil partnerships. The fees are laid out up front to avoid nasty surprises.

Karen says: “We use experts to guide people through the different steps, with the aim to come to a resolution so both parties can have a happy future.”

For details, visit www.essex familysolutions.org.uk