Mon 23 Apr 2012
Divorce courts recommend mediation as an effective way to resolve the disputes arising from stressful and sensitive divorce proceedings. A mediation solicitor is an objective, third party who works with both partners to develop an agreement that is acceptable to all involved. A solicitor with accreditation by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) has the qualifications necessary to do this work.
This solicitor, who will already be qualified in legal matters and will then have been trained in mediation, knows how to prepare well for the process. Before the mediation date, he will carefully review all the paperwork of both parties. Then, he facilitates a discussion that leads to reasonable resolutions. This always includes certain compromises and accommodations, but usually an agreement can be developed, if not during the mediation day, then certainly within the next couple of weeks.
A recent review of family justice in the UK recommended that couples be obliged to participate in assessment mediation before going to court. It would appear that this recommendation will be implemented. It is expected to result in reduced court time for issues such as extra visiting time with children. The court will be still used, of course, for cases involving domestic abuse and child protection.
Besides relieving the strain on the court system, there are many advantages for the primary parties in working with a mediator – before beginning the mediation process, however, it is important for all parties to understand that a signed agreement is as binding as a court order. This is a legal process, not a counselling session.
Divorce mediation is faster than going to court to settle any arguments over financial support and division of property. It can be arranged within a few weeks.
Mediation is less costly. The cost of a day or two of mediation can multiplied tenfold when the case moves into a court room. It can be much more as the adversarial environment of the court often leads to polarised positions that stall the proceedings.
Both parties have more direct input. They and their advisors work directly with the mediator, who has thoroughly familiarised himself with the details of the case from both perspectives. They have access to model templates for agreements beforehand to ensure a better understanding of the process, and to assist in agreeing suitable terms.
There is lower risk in mediation. There can be back and forth negotiation until both parties are comfortable with the settlement. Until a resolution agreement is signed, offers can be made and withdrawn.
A good mediation solicitor has knowledge and experience that allows him to suggest solutions that might not have occurred to either party around issues like child support or retirement planning. These will be presented objectively for consideration only. He can even negotiate settlements that would not be allowed in a court room.
Mediation allows for a more informal space that usually reduces stress levels. There are opportunities for time out if emotions run high.
Engaging a mediation solicitor is an effective way to bring resolution to the complex issues of a divorce, especially when children are involved. These professionals have become better trained over the last decade and have more than proved their worth. If you’re facing the possibility of a divorce, mediation services are something you can’t afford to ignore.
This is a post by guest authors Lemon & Co, family law and mediation solicitors in Swindon. For more information on divorce lawyers, family law disputes or mediation solicitors in Swindon, you can visit the Lemon & Co website at http://www.lemon-co.co.uk/services_private_family_law.php. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to, submit a guest blog post?