Karen Barham is a consultant at Moore Barlow, a mediator, solicitor and a parenting coordinator.
She received the Surrey Law Society Family Lawyer of the Year Award 2021 as the author of the Family Solutions Initiative.
She continues to be at the coalface of the evolution of family law and to continue to innovate and create positive change for the benefits of our clients and their families as a whole.
Her latest project is as a Member of the Family Solutions Group.
At the request of Rhys Taylor of The 36 Group, in his capacity as Mr Recorder Taylor and a member of the Family Procedure Rule Committee, Karen was asked to collate a judicial and users’ guide to out of court options for both children and financial matters. Her instructions were ‘to keep it to two pages’ – they are replicated below. She worked closely with Recorder Taylor and Mr Recorder Allen QC for their input on the final document.
The Financial Remedies Journal has helpfully published the document at its frc corner which can be found here.
Subject to HMCTS approval, Mr J Peel has agreed to her attached document being sent out by the court with the Form C. It’s a huge step forward in signposting towards the full range of out of court processes and assistance available to those experiencing family breakdown.
Out of Family Court Resolution Helpful Links
Family mediation helps you make arrangements for children, money & property and can be conducted in-person and/or online.
The Family Mediation Council (the FMC) holds the register of family mediators.
Arrangements for children (including their financial arrangements) qualify for a non-means tested voucher of up to £500 towards your mediation costs if you appoint an FMC mediator registered with the scheme
Family mediators may also be members of the following membership organisations and can be found here:
Assists parents to implement their Parenting Plan or final Court Order. The Parenting Coordinator provides parenting support through discussion, mediation and when required by making binding determinations to resolve issues in a timely manner. Further details and the register of Parenting Coordinators can be found here:
Parenting Support & Parenting Information
Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP)
The Parenting Apart Programme
Providing support and facilities where children can spend time with family members they don’t live with – there are around 350 child contact centres across the UK
Early Neutral Evaluation / private FDR
The database for practitioners offering a private non-binding evaluation/pFDR in financial matters can be found at
If you cannot reach agreement arbitration provides an alternative to applying to the court. You enter an agreement whereby you appoint a suitably qualified person to adjudicate a dispute concerning money, property and/or children and agree to be bound by the written decision of the arbitrator. Arbitration is usually quicker and more flexible than the court process and will always be privateFurther details can be found at
Legal Information, Parenting & other Support
- www.onlydads.org/information/101-questions-answered-about-separating-with-children – foreword by the president of the family division, Sir Andrew McFarlane
How Moore Barlow can help
To find out more about mediation, arbitration or collaborative approach processes, contact Joanna Farrands and Jan Galloway.