Can I bring a legal representative to mediation? – Solent Family Mediation

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

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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

No 2 marriages are the same, and so it only follows that no two divorces will be the same, either.

If you’re a female who’s considering divorce, you have several alternatives about how to proceed. In general terms, you need to think about four broad classifications of divorce options: Do-It-Yourself (Do It Yourself), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s have a look at the benefits and drawbacks of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

Divorce is really made complex, both legally and financially. You can quickly make errors, and often those mistakes are irreversible. The only scenario I can envision when a Do-It-Yourself divorce might make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marriage lasted only two or 3 years and there are no children, little or no assets/debts to be divided, comparable incomes and no spousal support. In a case like that, a Do-It-Yourself divorce could be achieved rather quickly and inexpensively. Nevertheless, I would still extremely recommend that each party have their own different lawyer review the last files.


In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple deals with a neutral arbitrator who assists both celebrations concern an agreement on all elements of their divorce. The mediator might or may not be a lawyer, but he/she needs to be incredibly fluent in divorce and family law. In addition, it is vital for the conciliator to be neutral and not promote for either celebration. Both celebrations still need to talk to their own, private lawyers throughout the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement agreement.

Here are a couple of pros and cons to think about before choosing if mediation will work for you.

On the “professional” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Result in a better long-term relationship with your ex-husband because you will not “combat” in court.
  • Be simpler on kids considering that the divorce procedures may be more peaceful.
  • Expedite a contract.
  • Reduce expenses.
  • Help you stay in control of your divorce due to the fact that you are making the decisions (and the court isn’t).
  • Enable more discretion. Mediation is personal; prosecuted divorce is public.

Nevertheless, on the “con” side, divorce mediation may likewise:

  • Lose time and cash. If settlements fail, you’ll require to begin all over.
  • Be incomplete or unduly favorable to one partner. If the conciliator is inexperienced or biased towards your other half, the outcome could be unfavorable for you.
  • Result in an unenforceable agreement. A mediation contract that’s lopsided or badly prepared can be challenged.
  • Result in legal problems. Any problem of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to discover particular properties. Given that all financial details is willingly disclosed and there is no subpoena of records, your hubby might potentially hide assets/income.
  • Strengthen unhealthy habits patterns. If one spouse is controling and the other is submissive, the final settlement might not be fair.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation could increase negative habits 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 apparently a much better, less controversial, less expensive and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. My biggest issue with mediation is that the sole role and goal of the conciliator is to get the celebrations to come to a contract– any contract! Unless both celebrations can be fairly affordable and amicable (and if they can be, why are they getting divorced???), I believe that mediation is usually not a practical choice for most ladies.

Collaborative Divorce

Basically, collective divorce occurs when a couple consents to exercise a divorce settlement without going to court.

During a collective divorce both you and your spouse will each employ an attorney who has been trained in the collaborative divorce procedure. The role of the attorneys in a collaborative divorce is rather different than in a traditional divorce.

In the collaborative procedure, you, your spouse and your respective attorneys all need to sign an agreement that requires that both lawyers withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if litigation is threatened. If this happens, both you and your spouse should start all over once again and find new lawyers. Neither celebration can use the very same attorneys again!

Even if the collective process achieves success, you will typically need to appear in family court so a judge can sign the contract. The legal process can be much quicker and less expensive than traditional lawsuits if the collaborative process works.

Unfortunately, though, I have found that the collective technique often does not work well to settle divorces including complex financial circumstances or when there are significant possessions. In collective divorce, just as in mediation, all financial information (earnings, properties and liabilities) is revealed willingly. Frequently the partner manages the “bag strings,” and the better half is normally unaware of the information of their financial scenario. When this kind of inequality exists, the door is frequently wide open for the spouse to hide assets. What’s more, many high net worth divorces include services and expert practices where it is fairly easy to conceal possessions and income. In addition, the concern of appraisal can be rather contentious.

… as a general rule, my suggestion is this:

Do NOT use any of these first 3 choices– Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Mediation or Collaborative Divorce– if:

  • You suspect your husband is hiding assets/income.
  • Your spouse is imperious, and you have trouble speaking out or you’re afraid to voice your opinions.
  • There is a history or risk of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your children.
  • You or your spouse has a drug/alcohol dependency.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce option is the most common. Nowadays, the majority of divorcing couples choose the “traditional” design of prosecuted divorce.

Bear in mind, however, “litigated” does not imply the divorce ends up in court. In fact, the large bulk of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement arrangement. “Litigation” is a legal term meaning ‘performing a claim.’

In 80 percent of cases, the decision to divorce is unilateral– one party desires the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, produces an adversarial situation right from the start and frequently disqualifies mediation and collaborative divorce, given that both approaches rely on the complete cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary information.

Plainly, if you are starting with an adversarial and highly emotionally charged scenario, the chances are extremely high that partnership or mediation might stop working. Why take the risk of going those paths when chances are they might stop working, losing your money and time?

The most crucial and most hard parts of any divorce are coming to an arrangement on child custody, division of properties and liabilities and spousal support payments (just how much and for for how long). You want your attorney to be a highly knowledgeable mediator, you don’t want someone who is excessively combative, ready to fight over anything and whatever. An extremely controversial approach will not just extend the discomfort and considerably increase your legal costs, it will likewise be emotionally damaging to everyone involved, especially the kids.

Keep in mind: The majority of divorce attorneys (or at least the ones I would advise) will always aim to come to a reasonable settlement with the other celebration. However if they can’t come to a reasonable settlement or if the other party is completely unreasonable then, sadly, going to court, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to deal with these concerns.

Up until that point both lawyers were “negotiators,” attempting to get the celebrations to compromise and come to some affordable resolution. As soon as in court, the role of each lawyer modifications.

And do not forget, once you remain in court, it’s a judge who understands really little about you and your family that will make the decisions about your children, your home, your cash and how you live your life. That’s a very big threat for both parties to take– and that’s likewise why the risk of going to court is usually such a great deterrent.

Here’s my last word of advice about divorce options: Weigh divorce alternatives carefully. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is different. Clearly, if you have the ability to deal with your partner to make decisions and both of you are sincere and reasonable, then mediation or the collective approach might be best. But, if you have doubts, it is excellent to be ready with “Plan B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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