Mediation in the spotlight – what’s best for your divorce?
Divorce is distressing enough but even more so when children are involved. That’s why more and more divorce solicitors are encouraging couples to think about mediation first before turning the courts into a battleground.
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential way of reaching practical solutions that are acceptable to everybody concerned, and could very well protect children from the emotional harm of seeing parents in dispute. The most senior family judge in England and Wales, Sir Nicholas Wall, said in a radio interview: "There's nothing more distressing for children; I often have cases where children are deeply disturbed by the long-standing battle between their parents over them."
So much can be achieved much more amicably by taking the mediation route. Yes, we know emotions are running high and resentment is at its peak, but trained mediators are there to be independent and impartial to help both sides agree the way ahead. Mediators can talk to you separately or together, asking the right questions that bring up the problems you need to air and helping you talk about how you’d like your divorce to run as smoothly as it can.
Mediators don’t make judgments or work out who gets what – they’re simply there to help you achieve mutually-agreed outcomes without having to take your dispute to court.
Of course there are circumstances where mediation isn’t the right thing to do – child protection concerns being top of the list. If you do have genuine concerns for your children’s safety during and after the divorce process, it’s best to let a divorce solicitor help you.
Another practical aspect of mediation during a divorce is cost – if you want to fight your dispute in the courts you’ll need to pay solicitors if you are not entitled to Legal Aid, which has now been withdrawn for all but the most serious of circumstances. Mediation isn’t free, but it’s certainly more cost-effective than fighting your dispute through the courts.
Obviously when a partnership has reached this stage, it could well be a bitter pill to swallow to sit down together and talk about how to divorce as swiftly and effectively as possible. Your mediator will know just how you’re both feeling – so before you get a get a Judge out of bed, why not give a mediator a call?
Here at Today Legal we’ll put you in touch with the professionals who’ll make sure your divorce is handled with empathy and understanding – but, above all, mutual agreement.