Why Mediation is a Good Option When Getting Divorced
Mediation is a constructive and useful way to help resolve disputes with a spouse after the relationship has broken down and can assist with divorce matters from finances to child arrangements.
We list some of the benefits of mediation in divorce below. For more information or initial advice get in touch with our Divorce Solicitors.
If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, it’s likely that communication between you has broken down already, or that the stress and trauma of the situation will lead to communication breaking down.
A mediator works as a neutral and impartial third party who will help you and your spouse to communicate equally and in a constructive manner, with the ultimate aim being to facilitate a fair and reasonable divorce settlement.
Lasting and Effective Settlement
A mediator will reality test various settlement options with you and your spouse. Because of this, if you and your spouse do successfully agree a settlement during mediation, it’s far more likely that you’ll stick to it. On the other hand, a Judge won’t have the benefit of understanding the practical realities of your lives and may impose a Court Order which is unrealistic for one or both of you to stick to.
Narrowing the Areas in Dispute
You may feel that there are too many issues in dispute with your spouse and mediation won’t solve all of these. If you think this applies to your situation then don’t disregard mediation as an option. A mediator will discuss all areas in dispute and, even if you resolve only a few, these can be included in the mediator’s summary (a without prejudice Memorandum of Understanding) and may be used in order to save time and money during court proceedings.
Court proceedings are often prolonged, as the Courts are overburdened and obtaining a Hearing date can take months. With mediation you can choose how many sessions you would like and how frequently you would like sessions to take place. This normally leads to a quicker divorce settlement being reached.
The cost of a mediator is generally lower than the cost of Divorce Solicitors. If mediation is successful and a settlement is reached, the work that a Divorce Solicitor needs to do to implement the settlement is generally significantly less, and costs are therefore reduced. The cost of a mediator can be split between you and your spouse.
A mediator can’t impose a divorce settlement decision on you. You retain control whilst receiving useful guidance from an experienced professional.
All discussions that take place in mediation and any documents that are produced are without prejudice and cannot be disclosed (for example, to the Court) unless you and your spouse agree.
Any divorce settlement reached at mediation isn’t legally binding until independent legal advice is sought to implement the settlement. Therefore, if your situation changes after mediation, you’re still able to renegotiate the terms of the divorce settlement. Only once you’re comfortable with any settlement that has been reached do you need to make the settlement legally binding.
It’s important to be aware that you may be expected to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) if relevant family law proceedings, such as financial remedy proceedings or children law proceedings, are started and no exemptions apply.
For initial advice call our Family Law & Divorce Solicitors
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