Not all marriages last. That’s not to say, they weren’t the right thing to do at the time! People change and couples don’t always want to same things. So what do you do?
The options for separation and divorce depend on whether you have children and how complex your financial arrangements are. Some childless couples with no financial ties can move forward very quickly and painlessly. For others, it’s a more complex process requiring family mediation or court procedures.
Instead of going to court, we can provide family mediation services. These are overseen by one of our highly qualified solicitors and barrister.
Mediation is a quicker, cheaper and less stressful alternative to court
Conducted in a calm and civilised manner, they are much less stressful, particularly for children, and are a great deal cheaper and quicker to undertake than protracted court proceedings. Importantly, by taking a collaborative approach to deciding the arrangements for children and finances, it helps to avoid deepening the rifts between parties and benefits future communication and relationships. It short, they are easier, cheaper and more successful.
However, sometimes there is no alternative and if it is not possible to agree on arrangements regarding your finances and the children, it will be necessary to go to court. Our specialist family lawyers will support you through that process too.
Mediation – What is it?
Mediation is a voluntary process which the courts actively encourage. You and your partner meet together with an independent family mediator (one or two of our specialists trained in family mediation) to discuss your issues in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
The intention is to encourage openness and a willingness to negotiate, with both parties working towards a settlement for finances and children. That way, the agreements are fair and more likely to be adhered to.
Mediation – How does it work?
An independent mediator will meet you and your partner and will identify those issues you can’t agree on and help you to try and reach agreement. The process may take a number of sessions, depending how difficult the issues are to resolve and how many issues there are.
Once the issues have been agreed, they will be set out in a “Memorandum of Understanding”. At this point your lawyer will give their advice on the outcome, and create the legal paperwork. In many cases, this will be a court order which is then issued to the court to be turned into a binding document.
It is important to know that Mediators do not take sides and cannot give advice to either of you. They will recommend that you obtain legal advice alongside the mediation process. Our family lawyers will provide this advice for you and help you with the whole process. We can advise you on what arrangements you need to consider and what financial information you will need. We will ensure that you have the right components in your settlement to ensure that it is fair.
Mediation - How to start
The first thing you need to do is speak to us. Either call us, email us or book and appointment using the calendar and we’ll provide a half hour free consultation so you can see where you stand and we can work out a plan. Once you’re on control of the situation, you’ll feel an awful lot better and we can move forward identifying exactly what you arrangements will need to be made for you and your family. We can then invite your spouse to engage in the process, hopefully leading to a productive and quick agreement.
Mediation – What will it cost?
Really, this will depend on the complexity of the mediation and the legal advice required to get you what you need. We’ll cover all of this when we speak with you. We can also provide cost effective finance options for you.
You may wish to know more about the likely outcome of any divorce proceedings before officially starting any action. Our experienced divorce lawyers will be able to give you an idea of the outcomes should you decide to proceed, this allowing you to make the best decision based on your own unique situation.
If you would like a consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers, please call us on 01787 277375 or use the online form.
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