Should I use a mediator or a lawyer for divorce? – Solent Family Mediation


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

Our family mediation service is quicker and more cost-effective than heading to court. It reduces dispute, and your family remains in control of plans over children, property and finance.

We work right throughout England and Wales and our family mediation service has over thirty years’ experience providing professional, professional family mediation services.

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The Four 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.

In fact, if you’re a woman who’s considering divorce, you have several alternatives about how to continue. In general terms, you need to think about 4 broad categories of divorce options: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

The best advice I can give you about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is DON’T Do-It-Yourself!

The only circumstance I can imagine when a Diy divorce might make any possible sense, may be in a case where the marital relationship lasted just 2 or three years and there are no kids, little or no assets/debts to be divided, comparable earnings and no alimony. In a case like that, a Diy divorce could be achieved rather rapidly and cheaply.


In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple deals with a neutral conciliator who assists both celebrations come to an agreement on all elements of their divorce. The mediator might or may not be an attorney, but he/she needs to be exceptionally well-versed in divorce and family law. In addition, it is critical for the conciliator to be neutral and not advocate for either celebration. Both parties still require to seek advice from their own, private lawyers during the mediation and prior to signing the last divorce settlement contract.

Here are a couple of advantages and disadvantages to think about prior to deciding if mediation will work for you.

On the “pro” side, divorce mediation might:

  • Result in a much better long-term relationship with your ex-husband considering that you will not “fight” in court.
  • Be easier on kids given that the divorce proceedings might be more serene.
  • Expedite an agreement.
  • Reduce expenditures.
  • 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.

However, on the “con” side, divorce mediation might likewise:

  • Waste time and cash. If settlements stop working, you’ll need to begin all over.
  • Be incomplete or unduly beneficial to one partner. If the conciliator is unskilled or biased towards your partner, the result could be undesirable for you.
  • Result in an unenforceable agreement. A mediation agreement that’s lopsided or improperly drafted can be challenged.
  • Lead to legal issues. Any problem of law will still need to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to discover certain assets. Because all financial info is willingly divulged and there is no subpoena of records, your other half might possibly conceal assets/income.
  • Enhance unhealthy behavior patterns. If one spouse is dominating and the other is submissive, the last settlement may not be reasonable.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation could increase unfavorable habits of a spouse with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples typically become aware of the marvels of mediation and how it is reportedly a better, less controversial, less expensive and more “dignified” way to get a divorce. My greatest problem with mediation is that the sole function and objective of the mediator is to get the celebrations to come to an arrangement– any arrangement! Remember, the conciliator can not offer any guidance. All they can do is try to get you to concur. Not all contracts are great agreements, and in truth, in numerous cases, no agreement is better than a bad agreement. Unless both celebrations can be fairly affordable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting separated???), I think that mediation is generally not a feasible alternative for most ladies.

Collective Divorce

Basically, collective divorce takes place when a couple agrees to exercise a divorce settlement without going to court.

Throughout a collaborative divorce both you and your other half will each employ a lawyer who has actually been trained in the collective divorce procedure. The function of the attorneys in a collaborative divorce is rather various than in a conventional divorce.

In the collective process, you, your spouse and your particular attorneys all need to sign a contract that requires that both lawyers withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and/or if litigation is threatened. If this takes place, both you and your husband should start all over again and find brand-new lawyers. Neither celebration can use the same lawyers again!

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

Though, I have found that the collective approach typically doesn’t work well to settle divorces involving complex financial circumstances or when there are substantial possessions. In collaborative divorce, just as in mediation, all financial details (income, assets and liabilities) is revealed willingly. What’s more, many high net worth divorces involve businesses and professional practices where it is reasonably easy to conceal possessions and income.

… 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 other half is concealing assets/income.
  • Your spouse is imperious, and you have trouble speaking out or you hesitate to voice your opinions.
  • There is a history or danger of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your children.
  • You or your spouse has a drug/alcohol addiction.

Litigated Divorce

The 4th divorce option is the most typical. Nowadays, most of divorcing couples select the “conventional” design of prosecuted divorce.

Remember, however, “litigated” does not indicate the divorce winds up in court. The large bulk of all divorce cases (more than 95 percent) reach an out-of-court settlement contract. “Lawsuits” is a legal term significance ‘carrying out a claim.’

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 often disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, since both approaches rely on the full cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all financial details.

Clearly, if you are starting out with an adversarial and highly mentally charged circumstance, the possibilities are very high that partnership or mediation may stop working. Why take the risk of going those paths when odds are they might fail, squandering your money and time?

The most important and most tough parts of any divorce are pertaining to an arrangement on kid custody, division of possessions and liabilities and alimony payments (how much and for how long). You want your lawyer to be a highly competent negotiator, you do not desire somebody who is overly combative, all set to combat over anything and everything. An overly controversial method will not only prolong the pain and substantially increase your legal charges, it will likewise be mentally damaging to everyone included, especially the children.

Remember: Many divorce lawyers (or at least the ones I would recommend) will constantly strive to come to a reasonable settlement with the other celebration. However if they can’t concern a sensible settlement or if the other celebration is totally unreasonable then, sadly, going to court, or threatening to do so, might be the only way to fix these issues.

Up until that point both lawyers were “negotiators,” trying to get the parties to jeopardize and come to some sensible resolution. Once in court, the role of each attorney changes.

And don’t forget, as soon as you’re in court, it’s a judge who understands extremely 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 very big danger for both parties to take– which’s also why the risk of going to court is usually such a good deterrent.

Here’s my last word of recommendations about divorce options: Weigh divorce options carefully. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is various. Clearly, if you are able to deal with your partner to make decisions and both of you are truthful and affordable, then mediation or the collaborative approach might be best. But, if you have doubts, it is great to be all set with “Fallback” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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