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Solent Family Mediation help families in conflict, especially those separating or separating.

Our family mediation service is quicker and more cost-effective than heading to court. It minimizes conflict, and your household remains in control of plans over kids, property and finance.

We work right across England and Wales and our family mediation service has more than thirty years’ experience providing specialist, expert family mediation services.

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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

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

In fact, if you’re a female who’s pondering divorce, you have numerous choices about how to proceed. In general terms, you need to think about four broad categories of divorce options: Do-It-Yourself (Do It Yourself), Mediation, Collaborative and Lawsuits. Let’s have a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

Divorce is really complicated, both lawfully and financially. You can easily make mistakes, and frequently those errors are permanent. The only situation I can envision when a Diy divorce might make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marital relationship lasted only two or three years and there are no kids, little or no assets/debts to be divided, similar earnings and no alimony. In a case like that, a Do-It-Yourself divorce could be accomplished quite quickly and cheaply. I would still extremely advise that each celebration have their own separate lawyer review the final files.


In divorce mediation, a separating couple deals with a neutral arbitrator who helps both celebrations concern an arrangement on all aspects of their divorce. The arbitrator might or may not be a lawyer, but he/she must be very well-versed in divorce and family law. In addition, it is crucial for the arbitrator to be neutral and not advocate for either celebration. Both celebrations still require to consult with their own, private lawyers throughout the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement contract.

Here are a few pros and cons 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 given that you will not “battle” in court.
  • Be simpler on children because the divorce procedures may be more serene.
  • Expedite an agreement.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Help you stay in control of your divorce since you are making the decisions (and the court isn’t).
  • Permit more discretion. Mediation is personal; litigated divorce is public.

Nevertheless, on the “con” side, divorce mediation might also:

  • Waste time and money. If negotiations stop working, you’ll need to start all over.
  • Be insufficient or unduly favorable to one spouse. If the mediator is unskilled or prejudiced towards your other half, the outcome could be undesirable for you.
  • Lead to an unenforceable agreement. A mediation contract that’s uneven or improperly prepared can be challenged.
  • Cause legal complications. Any issue of law will still need to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to discover particular assets. Given that all monetary info is voluntarily divulged and there is no subpoena of records, your hubby could possibly hide assets/income.
  • Enhance unhealthy habits patterns. If one spouse is dominating and the other is submissive, the final settlement might not be fair.
  • Fuel emotions. Mediation could increase unfavorable habits of a partner with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples often find out about the marvels of mediation and how it is supposedly a much better, less contentious, less expensive and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. My most significant problem with mediation is that the sole function and goal of the conciliator is to get the parties to come to an arrangement– any contract! Remember, the mediator can not offer any recommendations. All they can do is attempt to get you to concur. Unfortunately, not all arrangements are excellent agreements, and in fact, oftentimes, no contract is much better than a bad contract. So unless both parties can be relatively sensible and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting separated???), I think that mediation is usually not a feasible alternative for most women.

Collaborative Divorce

Basically, collaborative divorce occurs when a couple consents to exercise a divorce settlement without litigating.

Throughout a collaborative divorce both you and your hubby will each work with an attorney who has actually been trained in the collective divorce procedure. The role of the lawyers in a collaborative divorce is quite various than in a traditional divorce. Each lawyer advises and assists their customer in negotiating a settlement arrangement. You will meet your lawyer individually and you and your attorney will also meet with your other half and his lawyer. The collaborative procedure might likewise involve other neutral professionals such as a divorce monetary organizer who will assist both of you overcome your financial issues and a coach or therapist who can assist guide both of you through child custody and other emotionally charged issues.

In the collective procedure, you, your spouse and your particular lawyers all need to 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 hubby must start all over again and discover brand-new attorneys. Neither celebration can utilize the exact same attorneys once again!

Even if the collaborative procedure achieves success, you will typically have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the arrangement. The legal process can be much quicker and less expensive than standard litigation if the collaborative process works.

Regrettably, though, I have actually discovered that the collaborative method typically does not work well to settle divorces involving complex financial situations or when there are substantial properties. In collective divorce, just as in mediation, all monetary information (income, assets and liabilities) is disclosed voluntarily. Often the husband manages the “handbag strings,” and the better half is usually uninformed of the details of their financial circumstance. When this sort of inequality exists, the door is often wide open for the hubby to conceal assets. What’s more, many high net worth divorces include organizations and professional practices where it is reasonably simple to conceal possessions and income. In addition, the concern of valuation can be rather controversial.

So … as a general rule, my suggestion is this:

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

  • You think your hubby is hiding assets/income.
  • Your partner is aggressive, and you have trouble speaking up or you’re afraid to voice your opinions.
  • There is a history or threat 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 typical. Nowadays, the majority of separating couples select the “standard” model of litigated divorce.

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

Why are claims a part of divorce? Since contrary to common belief, divorce generally does not include 2 people mutually consenting to end their marital relationship. In 80 percent of cases, the decision to divorce is unilateral– one party wants the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, develops an adversarial circumstance right from the start and frequently disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, since both techniques depend on the full cooperation of both celebrations and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary details.

Plainly, if you are beginning with an adversarial and highly emotionally charged scenario, the possibilities are really high that collaboration or mediation might stop working. Why take the danger of going those paths when chances are they might fail, wasting your money and time?

The most essential and most tough parts of any divorce are pertaining to an arrangement on child custody, department of assets and liabilities and alimony payments (just how much and for for how long). Although you want your attorney to be a highly proficient mediator, you don’t want somebody who is overly combative, all set to eliminate over anything and whatever. An extremely controversial technique will not just extend the pain and substantially increase your legal charges, it will likewise be emotionally damaging to everybody involved, particularly the kids.

Keep in mind: The majority of divorce lawyers (or at least the ones I would recommend) will constantly strive to come to an affordable settlement with the other celebration. If they can’t come to a reasonable settlement or if the other party is entirely unreasonable then, sadly, going to court, or threatening to do so, may be the only method to resolve these issues.

If you have attempted whatever else, and you do end up in court, things can get really nasty and hostile. Up up until that point both attorneys were “arbitrators,” trying to get the parties to compromise and come to some affordable resolution. As soon as in court, the function of each lawyer modifications. Settlements and compromise move to the back burner. Their new job is to “win” and get the very best possible result for their client.

And don’t forget, when you’re in court, it’s a judge who knows really little about you and your family that will make the decisions about your kids, your property, your money and how you live your life. That’s a very big threat for both parties to take– which’s likewise why the risk of going to court is generally such a great deterrent.

Here’s my last word of guidance about divorce options: Weigh divorce alternatives carefully. If you have doubts, it is great to be prepared with “Plan B” which would be the litigated divorce.

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