What is Family Mediation? – Solent Family Mediation

Family mediation

During mediation an independent, expertly skilled conciliator assists you and your ex-partner exercise an arrangement about issues such as:

plans for children after you separate (sometimes called home or contact);.

  • child maintenance payments.
  • finances (for instance, what to do with your home, cost savings, pension, debts)

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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Divorce mediation

No two marital relationships are the same, therefore 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 options 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 pros and cons of every one.

Do-It-Yourself Divorce

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

Divorce is extremely complicated, both lawfully and economically. You can quickly make mistakes, and typically those mistakes are irreparable. The only situation I can visualize when a Diy divorce may make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marital relationship lasted just two 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 Do-It-Yourself divorce could be accomplished quite quickly and cheaply. I would still extremely advise that each celebration have their own different attorney review the last documents.


In divorce mediation, a divorcing couple deals with a neutral mediator who helps both celebrations pertain to an arrangement on all aspects of their divorce. The conciliator might or might not be a legal representative, however he/she should be extremely well-versed in divorce and family law. In addition, it is crucial for the arbitrator to be neutral and not promote for either celebration. Both parties still require to seek advice from their own, private lawyers during the mediation and prior to signing the final divorce settlement arrangement.

Here are a couple of advantages and disadvantages to consider before deciding if mediation will work for you.

On the “professional” side, divorce mediation might:

  • Lead to a much better long-lasting relationship with your ex-husband since you will not “battle” in court.
  • Be much easier on kids given that the divorce procedures might be more peaceful.
  • Speed up an arrangement.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Help you remain in control of your divorce since you are deciding (and the court isn’t).
  • Permit more discretion. Mediation is personal; prosecuted divorce is public.

On the “con” side, divorce mediation may:

  • Waste time and cash. If negotiations fail, you’ll need to begin all over.
  • Be insufficient or unduly beneficial to one spouse. If the conciliator is unskilled or prejudiced towards your hubby, the outcome could be undesirable for you.
  • Lead to an unenforceable contract. A mediation agreement that’s lopsided or improperly prepared can be challenged.
  • Cause legal complications. Any concern of law will still require to be ruled upon by the court.
  • Fail to reveal certain properties. Because all financial info is willingly divulged and there is no subpoena of records, your hubby might possibly hide assets/income.
  • Reinforce unhealthy behavior patterns. If one partner is dominating and the other is submissive, the final settlement might not be fair.
  • Fuel feelings. Mediation could increase negative behavior of a spouse with a tendency for physical/mental or drugs/alcohol abuse.

Couples often hear about the wonders of mediation and how it is apparently a much better, less controversial, less costly and more “dignified” way to get a divorce. My biggest issue with mediation is that the sole function and goal of the arbitrator is to get the parties to come to an arrangement– any agreement! Unless both parties can be fairly affordable and friendly (and if they can be, why are they getting separated???), I think that mediation is usually not a viable option for a lot of females.

Collective Divorce

Simply put, collective divorce occurs when a couple consents to work out a divorce settlement without going to court.

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

In the collective process, you, your spouse and your respective attorneys all must sign a contract that needs that both lawyers 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 must start all over again and discover new attorneys. Neither party can utilize the same lawyers again!

Even if the collective process succeeds, you will normally have to appear in family court so a judge can sign the contract. The legal procedure can be much quicker and less costly than standard litigation if the collaborative procedure works.

However, I have actually discovered that the collaborative approach typically doesn’t work well to settle divorces including complex financial situations or when there are substantial assets. In collective divorce, simply as in mediation, all monetary info (income, possessions and liabilities) is disclosed willingly. What’s more, lots of high net worth divorces include companies and professional practices where it is relatively simple to conceal assets and income.

… as a general rule, my recommendation is this:

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

  • You presume your husband is hiding assets/income.
  • Your other half is prideful, and you have trouble speaking out or you hesitate to voice your viewpoints.
  • There is a history or risk of domestic violence (physical and/or psychological) towards you and/or your children.
  • You or your partner has a drug/alcohol addiction.

Litigated Divorce

The fourth divorce alternative is the most common. Nowadays, the majority of divorcing couples select the “standard” model of litigated divorce.

Remember, though, “litigated” does not imply the divorce winds up in court. The huge majority 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 wants the divorce and the other does not. That, by its very nature, develops an adversarial circumstance right from the start and often disqualifies mediation and collaborative divorce, considering that both techniques rely on the full cooperation of both celebrations and the voluntary disclosure of all monetary information.

Clearly, if you are starting with an adversarial and extremely emotionally charged scenario, the chances are very high that collaboration or mediation may fail. Why take the threat of going those routes when odds are they might fail, wasting your money and time?

The most important and most tough parts of any divorce are concerning an arrangement on child custody, division of assets and liabilities and alimony payments (how much and for the length of time). You desire your lawyer to be an extremely experienced arbitrator, you do not desire someone who is excessively combative, all set to fight over anything and everything. An excessively contentious approach will not only lengthen the pain and substantially increase your legal fees, it will also be mentally damaging to everyone included, especially the children.

Keep in mind: The majority of divorce attorneys (or at least the ones I would recommend) will constantly make every effort to come to a reasonable settlement with the other party. If they can’t come to an affordable settlement or if the other party is completely 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 wind up in court, things can get truly nasty and hostile. Up until that point both lawyers were “negotiators,” attempting to get the parties to jeopardize and come to some sensible resolution. Once in court, the function of each lawyer modifications. Settlements and compromise move to the back burner. Their new task is to “win” and get the very best possible result for their client.

And do not forget, once you’re in court, it’s a judge who understands really little about you and your family that will make the final decisions about your children, your residential or commercial property, your cash and how you live your life. That’s a huge risk for both parties to take– and that’s also why the threat of going to court is typically such an excellent 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 various. Clearly, if you are able to deal with your partner to make decisions and both of you are honest and affordable, then mediation or the collective technique may be best. But, if you have doubts, it is good to be prepared with “Fallback” which would be the prosecuted divorce.

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