It has been possible to deal with the fall out from divorce in mediation rather than the more usual court process or arbitration path for some years now and has been encouraged as a preferable process to avoid the damage of the adversarial process.
Mediation allows the parties to focus on what is in their best interests and also, if children are involved, their best interests. It promotes a more stable ongoing relationship as the parties move on with their separate lives, building confidence in dealing with one another as separated individuals, which is important where children are involved.
Mediation is also usually considerably less expensive than arbitration or the court process as the intention is that it is concluded quicker and with less legal costs.
With mediation both parties are assisted through a process of discussions to reach an amicable settlement. A skilled mediator allows the parties to raise their requirements and concerns providing a baseline for the discussions in a calm and controlled way. The mediator can inform the couple of what the court process would involve and need to know, though advice must be sought from an independent source.
As in the more usual court/arbitration route financial issues are still dealt with in the context of full and open financial disclosure and a clear expression of individual needs.
The mediator is totally independent and unbiased. They do not give legal advice but can use their legal knowledge to assist.
The process consists of a number of sessions, the number of sessions required is dependent on the circumstances and complexity of the issues. The sessions take place in a round table format with both parties in attendance at the same time.
The final agreement is written into a consent order as with the arbitration process and is sealed by the court in the same way. Thus it is still a final and legal binding document.
For more information on the mediation process speak to Margaret Porter at Spectrum Family Law on
Dee, Thank you for all your assistance with my divorce, it has been invaluable whilst giving me strength and...