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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

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

If you’re a woman who’s considering divorce, you have a number of alternatives about how to continue. In general terms, you require to consider four broad categories of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Lawsuits. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons 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!

The only circumstance I can imagine when a Do-It-Yourself divorce may make any possible sense, may be in a case where the marriage lasted only 2 or 3 years and there are no kids, little or no assets/debts to be divided, equivalent incomes and no spousal support. In a case like that, a Diy divorce might be achieved rather rapidly and cheaply.


In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple works with a neutral arbitrator who helps both celebrations come to an arrangement on all elements of their divorce. Both parties still require to consult with their own, individual lawyers during the mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement contract.

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

On the “professional” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Result in a much better long-term relationship with your ex-husband since you will not “combat” in court.
  • Be simpler on kids because the divorce procedures may be more tranquil.
  • Speed up a contract.
  • Reduce expenses.
  • Assist you remain in control of your divorce because you are deciding (and the court isn’t).
  • Allow for more discretion. Mediation is private; prosecuted divorce is public.

On the “con” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Lose time and cash. If negotiations fail, you’ll need to begin all over.
  • Be incomplete or unduly beneficial to one spouse. If the arbitrator is unskilled or prejudiced towards your partner, the result could be unfavorable for you.
  • Result in an unenforceable arrangement. A mediation agreement that’s uneven or badly prepared can be challenged.
  • Cause legal complications. Any issue of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to reveal certain possessions. Given that all monetary information is willingly divulged and there is no subpoena of records, your other half might possibly conceal assets/income.
  • Enhance unhealthy behavior patterns. If one partner is dominating and the other is submissive, the last settlement might not be reasonable.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation could increase negative behavior of a spouse with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples frequently find out about the wonders of mediation and how it is apparently a much better, less controversial, more economical and more “dignified” method to get a divorce. However, my most significant problem with mediation is that the sole role and objective of the arbitrator is to get the parties to come to an agreement– any arrangement! Keep in mind, the arbitrator can not give any advice. All they can do is try to get you to agree. Regrettably, not all contracts are good contracts, and in fact, in many cases, no arrangement is much better than a bad arrangement. So unless both celebrations can be fairly reasonable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting separated???), I believe that mediation is typically not a viable option for the majority of women.

Collective Divorce

Simply put, collaborative divorce takes place when a couple consents to exercise a divorce settlement without litigating.

Throughout a collective divorce both you and your other half will each hire an attorney who has actually been trained in the collaborative divorce process. The function of the lawyers in a collaborative divorce is rather various than in a traditional divorce.

In the collective process, you, your partner and your particular attorneys all should sign an agreement that needs that both attorneys 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 must start all over once again and find new lawyers. Neither party can use the exact same attorneys again!

Even if the collaborative process succeeds, you will generally need to appear in family court so a judge can sign the agreement. The legal process can be much quicker and less expensive than traditional litigation if the collective procedure works.

However, I have actually discovered that the collective technique frequently does not work well to settle divorces involving complicated financial circumstances or when there are significant properties. In collective divorce, just as in mediation, all monetary information (earnings, assets and liabilities) is divulged willingly. What’s more, many high net worth divorces include organizations and expert practices where it is fairly easy to hide possessions and earnings.

… as a basic rule, my suggestion is this:

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

  • You think your hubby is concealing assets/income.
  • Your partner is domineering, and you have difficulty speaking out or you’re afraid to voice your viewpoints.
  • There is a history or hazard of domestic violence (physical and/or mental) towards you and/or your children.
  • You or your partner has a drug/alcohol dependency.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce choice is the most common. These days, most of divorcing couples select the “standard” design of litigated divorce.

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

Why are suits a part of divorce? Because contrary to common belief, divorce typically does not involve 2 people mutually accepting end their marriage. In 80 percent of cases, the choice 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 typically disqualifies mediation and collective divorce, because both techniques rely on the complete cooperation of both parties and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary info.

Clearly, if you are beginning with an adversarial and extremely emotionally charged situation, the chances are extremely high that cooperation or mediation may fail. Why take the danger of going those routes when chances are they might stop working, losing your time and money?

The most important and most tough parts of any divorce are coming to an agreement on child custody, department of assets and liabilities and spousal support payments (just how much and for for how long). You want your lawyer to be an extremely competent arbitrator, you do not desire somebody who is extremely combative, ready to fight over anything and everything. An extremely controversial approach will not only lengthen the pain and significantly increase your legal charges, it will likewise be emotionally damaging to everybody involved, particularly the kids.

Remember: Most divorce lawyers (or at least the ones I would advise) will always make every effort to come to an affordable settlement with the other party. If they can’t come to a sensible settlement or if the other celebration is totally unreasonable then, unfortunately, going to court, or threatening to do so, may be the only method to resolve these issues.

If you have attempted everything else, and you do end up in court, things can get really nasty and hostile. Up until that point both lawyers were “mediators,” trying to get the parties to jeopardize and come to some affordable resolution. When in court, the function of each attorney changes. Settlements and compromise move to the back burner. Their brand-new task is to “win” and get the best possible result for their customer.

And don’t forget, as soon as you remain in court, it’s a judge who knows very little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your children, your residential or commercial property, your money and how you live your life. That’s a huge risk for both parties to take– which’s also why the danger of going to court is normally such an excellent deterrent.

Here’s my last word of suggestions about divorce alternatives: Weigh divorce alternatives thoroughly. The bottom line is that every family, and every divorce, is different. Clearly, if you have the ability to work with your partner to make decisions and both of you are honest and reasonable, then mediation or the collaborative technique may be best. If you have doubts, it is great to be ready with “Plan B” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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