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Divorce & the Benefits of Mediation

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

When relationships break down or divorce seems the only option its easy to see how disagreements arise.

How difficult the process can largely depend upon the attitude of the parties involved, and how willing they are to negotiate, discuss and compromise.

Court proceedings can be expensive, time consuming and stressful. It is far better to achieve a settlement with your ex husband or wife which you both consent to and into which you have both had an input.  Orders which are imposed are in reality less likely to work.

At Wilson Browne, our family lawyers are all members of Resolution, a national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce.

Even when Court proceedings are issued to sort out finances on divorce it is important to note that huge emphasis is still put on the parties by the Court system itself to discuss and reach an agreement by consent.  Most cases settle at the second hearing which is called the Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing (FDR).  At this hearing the Judge will give an indication, or a view, as to how he or she thinks the matter should settle if it went to a Final contested hearing.

Both parties are given time to talk and reach an agreed settlement with the assistance of their lawyers and indication from the Judge.  The Court cannot impose an Order on parties at the FDR.  If the parties reach an agreement however, the Court can give its approval to that agreement by making an Order by Consent.

Family mediation is an alternative to the Court process.  It is not counselling: an experienced family solicitor will seek to reach an agreement by consent on an amicable basis between you and your husband/wife/partner. Mediators are entirely neutral and independent and do not take sides.

Mediation normally takes place in the same room but it is possible to sit in separate rooms, known as shuttle mediation. The mediator will then move back and forth between each party.  The process can save time and money if both parties are genuinely willing to resolve issues and is less stressful than court proceedings.
Mediation would not be appropriate if, for example, there has been a history of domestic violence. Meetings usually last for about ninety minutes and you may need between two and four sessions.

If an agreement is reached at mediation and you are going through a divorce then you will need to go back to your own respective solicitors to ensure that any agreement is consolidated within a clean break Consent Order.  It will not be necessary to physically attend Court to obtain such an Order but the mediator will not be able to finalise a Court Order for you.  If however, for example, your mediation was regarding contact there is nothing further you need to do if an agreement is reached.

When you contact a Family Law solicitor at Wilson Browne, you’ll be drawing on the experience and expertise of expert mediators and one of the most established teams in the area. To arrange an appointment at one of our offices across Northamptonshire and Leicestershire call 0800 088 6004.

Edward Rawlins

Posted:

Edward Rawlins

Partner

Ed has over 20 years experience as a specialist advising on situations arising from the breakdown in relationships (marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation) in respect of both children, finances and business assets. He is a member of Resolution and a Law Society Accredited Family Mediator.