Divorce mediation is a constructive way to deal with the turmoil of sorting out practical arrangements before, during or after divorce. Whichever party instigates the divorce, or even if it is a mutual decision, going through the divorce process itself often has a significant emotional impact on both parties, as well as increasing the financial burden on the family as a whole.
The process of obtaining the legal documentation to become divorced is reasonably straightforward, providing the divorce is not contested. You are advised to see a solicitor who can guide you through the forms required. However the untangling of lives is usually much less straightforward, and in many cases, unless the couple can sort this out between themselves, they often rely on professional help to deal with this.
Divorce mediation enables parties to sort out the practical child and/or financial arrangements that inevitably arise from a separation of lives. Family mediation covers a whole range of scenarios and can deal with one issue or several. In respect of child arrangements, mediation can, for example, help parents make day to day arrangements, long term planning around holidays, birthdays and Christmas, as well as decisions about education, religion and the introduction of new partners. Establishing a way of communicating, to enable parents to co-operate in the future over decisions about their children, is often a positive outcome of mediation. Similarly, working out financial arrangements can be a difficult undertaking for a separating couple to deal with on their own. Divorce mediation helps to resolve property issues and other assets, as well as questions over income and debts. Unlike in the court process, family mediation can deal with both children arrangements and financial arrangements together as they are often interrelated.
Divorce mediation gives people control over outcomes and ensure they have a voice. It reduces polarisation and escalation of conflict. Inevitably, how you wish to resolve your issues will depend on the circumstances of the case. It is likely your choice will be influenced mainly by how far there is a need for a directive approach in your case, taking into account factors of cost and timing, and how far you feel a face to face negotiation if likely to be helpful. However courts increasingly encourage separating couples to try mediation because research has shown they produce more lasting, co-operative outcomes.
Unfortunately some relationships come to an end as a result of violence or abuse. If this is the case then you may be able to claim compensation though the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. We provide a CICA claims service and can advise you as to whether you could make a claim for compensation.