Getting a divorce is probably one of the most traumatic experiences that a person will have to deal with. Obtaining a divorce can often throw up a number of disputes in relation to matrimonial assets, finances and living arrangements for children. One way in which to keep your divorce amicable is to separate using mediation, which is a less costly, less stressful and enjoys a higher success rate than settling a divorce in Court.
Family Mediation Week
This week (18th to 22nd January) is Family Mediation Week, five days that are dedicated to raising awareness of the process and how it can help separating families manage their issues collaboratively.
The aim of family mediation is to encourage separating couples to sit down together, work out solutions to the financial and/or family-based issues that can arise as part of a divorce, and reach an amicable agreement that suits both parties. Thereby avoiding the literal and physical costs of what can end up being a bitter, and often long winded, battle in Court.
Covid-19 and the benefits of using mediation when divorcing
Going through a separation or divorce is, understandably, an incredibly challenging time of complete upheaval in a person’s life and, therefore, separating couples want a resolution as soon as possible to minimise disruption to their day-to-day lives.
That’s never been more apparent than in the current climate, when divorcing persons are more aware than ever before of the cost and slow pace of litigation and are looking for a more effective way of resolving disputes. Additionally, the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic means there are further delays as Courts have had to take time to adapt to new ways of working, leaving people looking for alternative, quicker processes.
While mediation has also had to adapt to the restrictions of the pandemic, in as much as face to face appointments are now conducted via video call, this has not resulted in delays to appointments as with the Courts. In fact, in some ways it has sped up the process as there is no travel to and from a mediator’s office to account for, for example.
The role of a mediator, as an independent trained professional, is to help provide a structured context for the separating parties discussions and, while they’re not able to provide legal advice, they can provide information about relevant aspects of family law that can help aid the parties’ understanding.
There are a number of advantages to pursuing mediation and keeping all parties involved out of Court. Firstly, it can help all family members – including children – move on to the next stage of their lives more quickly and, secondly, it is not as adversarial as Court processes can be – meaning it’s more likely that separating couples will be able to maintain important family relationships.
Finally, an important thing to understand about mediation is that it’s the parties who reach their own agreement. As a mediator, their job is simply to facilitate and manage the process, not to make the decisions when it comes to reaching an amicable resolution of arrangements – whether it’s in relation to finances, child arrangements or both. As such, this offers a person complete peace of mind that, from the very beginning of the process to the conclusion, they are in charge and retain complete control over the outcome.
Our team of family mediators
At Nelsons, we have an expert team of three family mediators, which consists of Gayle Rowley, Paul Richardson and Glynis Wright MBE, who all joined us in December 2020 following our acquisition of Glynis Wright and Co., a transaction that was the first step to supporting our vision to become the strongest and biggest Family Law team in the East Midlands.