Can a mediator settle a divorce? – Solent Family Mediation

If you are at the point of separation, or you are currently separated or divorced, mediation might help you focus on the future.

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The 4 Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

No 2 marital relationships are the same, and so it just follows that no 2 divorces will be the same, either.

If you’re a female who’s considering divorce, you have a number of choices about how to continue. In general terms, you require to think about 4 broad categories of divorce options: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Lawsuits. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

The very best guidance I can offer you about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is DON’T Do-It-Yourself!

The only scenario I can envision when a Do-It-Yourself divorce may make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marriage lasted just 2 or 3 years and there are no children, little or no assets/debts to be divided, similar earnings and no spousal support. In a case like that, a Diy divorce could be accomplished rather quickly and inexpensively.


In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple works with a neutral arbitrator who helps both celebrations concern a contract on all elements of their divorce. The mediator might or may not be a lawyer, but he/she must be very skilled in divorce and family law. In addition, it is crucial for the arbitrator to be neutral and not advocate for either celebration. Both parties still need to speak with their own, private lawyers throughout the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement arrangement.

Here are a couple of benefits and drawbacks to think about before deciding if mediation will work for you.

On the “pro” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Lead to a better long-term relationship with your ex-husband since you will not “combat” in court.
  • Be easier on kids given that the divorce proceedings may be more peaceful.
  • Accelerate an arrangement.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Assist you remain in control of your divorce because you are deciding (and the court isn’t).
  • Allow for more discretion. Mediation is personal; prosecuted divorce is public.

On the “con” side, divorce mediation might:

  • Lose time and money. If negotiations fail, you’ll need to start all over.
  • Be incomplete or unduly beneficial to one partner. If the arbitrator is inexperienced or biased towards your spouse, the outcome could be unfavorable for you.
  • Result in an unenforceable contract. A mediation agreement that’s lopsided or inadequately prepared can be challenged.
  • Lead to legal problems. Any issue of law will still need to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to uncover certain assets. Given that all monetary details is willingly disclosed and there is no subpoena of records, your hubby could potentially conceal assets/income.
  • Strengthen unhealthy behavior patterns. If one partner is controling and the other is submissive, the final settlement might not be reasonable.
  • Fuel emotions. Mediation might increase unfavorable behavior of a spouse with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples frequently hear about the marvels of mediation and how it is reportedly a much better, less controversial, cheaper and more “dignified” way to get a divorce. Nevertheless, my biggest problem with mediation is that the sole role and objective of the mediator is to get the celebrations to come to an agreement– any contract! Remember, the arbitrator can not offer any advice. All they can do is attempt to get you to concur. Regrettably, not all agreements are great agreements, and in fact, oftentimes, no arrangement is much better than a bad agreement. Unless both celebrations can be relatively affordable and amicable (and if they can be, why are they getting divorced???), I believe that mediation is generally not a viable choice for the majority of ladies.

Collaborative Divorce

Put simply, collaborative divorce occurs when a couple accepts exercise a divorce settlement without going to court.

During a collaborative divorce both you and your spouse will each hire a lawyer who has actually been trained in the collective divorce process. The function of the lawyers in a collaborative divorce is quite different than in a traditional divorce.

In the collective procedure, you, your hubby and your particular attorneys all should sign a contract that requires that both attorneys withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if lawsuits is threatened. If this takes place, both you and your spouse need to begin all over once again and discover brand-new attorneys. Neither party can utilize the same attorneys once again!

Even if the collective process achieves success, you will usually have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the contract. However the legal process can be much quicker and less costly than traditional litigation if the collective procedure works.

Unfortunately, however, I have discovered that the collaborative technique frequently does not work well to settle divorces involving complicated financial circumstances or when there are significant assets. In collaborative divorce, just as in mediation, all monetary info (income, possessions and liabilities) is revealed voluntarily. Typically the husband manages the “handbag strings,” and the wife is typically unaware of the information of their financial circumstance. When this kind of inequality exists, the door is frequently wide open for the spouse to hide assets. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces involve organizations and professional practices where it is reasonably easy to conceal assets and earnings. Furthermore, the concern of evaluation can be quite contentious.

… as a basic rule, my suggestion is this:

Do NOT utilize any of these very first three choices– Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce– if:

  • You think your partner is concealing assets/income.
  • Your partner is prideful, and you have difficulty speaking up or you hesitate to voice your viewpoints.
  • There is a history or danger of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your kids.
  • You or your hubby has a drug/alcohol dependency.

Litigated Divorce

The 4th divorce alternative is the most typical. These days, the majority of divorcing couples pick the “conventional” model of prosecuted divorce.

Remember, though, “prosecuted” does not suggest the divorce winds up in court. In fact, the vast bulk of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement contract. “Lawsuits” is a legal term meaning ‘carrying out a suit.’

In 80 percent of cases, the decision to divorce is unilateral– one celebration desires the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, produces an adversarial situation right from the start and typically disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, considering that both approaches rely on the full cooperation of both celebrations and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary information.

Clearly, if you are beginning with an adversarial and highly emotionally charged scenario, the possibilities are very high that cooperation or mediation might stop working. Why take the threat of going those paths when chances are they might fail, losing your money and time?

The most crucial and most difficult parts of any divorce are concerning an arrangement on kid custody, division of properties and liabilities and alimony payments (how much and for how long). Although you want your lawyer to be an extremely proficient mediator, you don’t desire someone who is overly combative, all set to combat over anything and whatever. An overly contentious technique will not just extend the discomfort and considerably increase your legal charges, it will also be emotionally damaging to everybody involved, especially the children.

Keep in mind: Most divorce attorneys (or a minimum of the ones I would suggest) will always aim to come to a reasonable settlement with the other party. However if they can’t pertain to an affordable settlement or if the other celebration is entirely unreasonable then, sadly, litigating, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to deal with these problems.

Up till that point both lawyers were “arbitrators,” attempting to get the celebrations to compromise and come to some sensible resolution. As soon as in court, the function of each attorney modifications.

And do not forget, when you’re in court, it’s a judge who knows very little about you and your family that will make the decisions about your children, your property, your cash and how you live your life. That’s a huge threat for both parties to take– and that’s also why the danger of litigating is typically such a good deterrent.

Here’s my last word of suggestions about divorce options: Weigh divorce options carefully. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is different. Certainly, if you are able to deal with your other half to make decisions and both of you are sincere and reasonable, then mediation or the collective technique may be best. But, if you have doubts, it is great to be prepared with “Plan B” which would be the litigated divorce.

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