The first Monday following the New Year is often referred to as ‘Divorce Day’. The name arises from the surge in enquiries regarding divorce that are received by solicitors as couples embrace the ‘New Year, New Start’ mantra. This year, ‘Divorce Day” falls on Monday 6th January 2020.
Despite the general belief that divorce will be a messy and costly process, if managed properly, the process of divorce, and where applicable the financial and children issues that come with it, can actually be resolved in a way to keep acrimony and costs to a minimum. In this article our Family Solicitor and Accredited Mediator, Paul Richardson, explains how mediation can be a way in which couples considering divorce can keep their costs down.
“Divorce is a daunting step for anyone to consider taking. The uncertainty about the future, what will happen financially, and the impact on the children are all natural concerns I often hear together with fears over huge legal fees. However, if explored properly there ways in which fears surrounding costs, and also the concerns regarding future financial security and the arrangements for the children can be managed effectively. One of these is by considering mediation”.
WHAT IS MEDIATION
Mediation is a process where the parties would meet together with a mediator who is completely impartial and will help the couple to examine and consider any issues that they may wish to resolve and to try and reach mutually acceptable outcomes. Therefore, for couples committed to working together cooperatively to obtain fair and workable solutions to their problems, mediation can offer a much cheaper and faster outcome than contesting matters in Court.
BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
- Both parties remain in control of what decisions are made for themselves and if applicable their children, whereas Court proceedings could result in a Judge or Magistrates making an Order that both parties would be bound by and neither could be entirely happy with.
- With the average costs of Court proceedings being in their thousands of pounds, mediation offers a more affordable alternative to resolving the issues.
- Mediation can also provide a much quicker way for the issues to be resolved rather than lengthy negotiations via solicitors or Court proceedings which can last for months or even years in some cases.
- The informal nature of mediation, with the discussions being without prejudice which means that whatever is discussed or said in mediation cannot be used in any subsequent Court proceedings, can provide a less stressful platform for the parties to attempt to reach mutually acceptable proposals for themselves and their children.
As a mediator, Paul is committed to helping couples keep conflict to a minimum and assist them in exploring ways to resolve their problems in the most constructive and amicable way. “I believe wherever possible, the best way is for couples to make the decisions about their and their children’s future themselves. Mediation can provide a forum for this to be achieved. Therefore, divorce does not always need to be seen as a “D day” event, but rather if mediation were considered, the opportunity for a new start to be managed affordably and as quickly as possible.
Should Family Mediation be a process which you feel could assist you to resolve outstanding issues between you and your former spouse or partner, or should you wish to find out more about the process then please contact Paul Richardson on 07458 116 273 at Cartwright King for further information.