Divorce proceedings can be vicious, protracted and very expensive. Fighting to the last breath is destructive and usually denies the divorcing couple any chance of being able to enjoy or even contemplate attending future family occasions.
Marriages, christenings and even funerals become a battlefield where old wars are refought with new weapons and undimmed enthusiasm.
It never ceases to amaze how two people who once loved each other enough to join their lives together can rip each other apart in the name of fairness and justice. There is another way, it's called mediation.
Family mediation is the most widely practiced form of mediation. Usually, the family mediator sees both parties together at a number of sessions. Clearly, the couple must be on speaking terms and agree to cooperate in the process.
Family mediators come from a variety of backgrounds and so bring a wide knowledge, experience and common sense to the process of reaching an agreement. If a problem needs legal advice they can always refer to a solicitor for clarification and guidance.
What do mediators do
The mediator works out an agreement for the division of the family's assets and child maintenance. When an agreement is reached, the mediator prepares a summary for each spouse. This will then be handed to solicitors to be translated into a Court document.
Mediation is a way of avoiding the British adversarial legal system which is often best suited to murder trials and commercial litigation rather than the emotional mayhem of a disintegrating marriage. The government has encouraged this form of conflict resolution for many years through the Family Law Act 1996. We can put you in touch with a local Family mediator or you can find a local mediator through the following organisations:
National Family Mediation 0207 485 8809
The UK College of Family Mediators 0207 391 9162
Family Mediation Helpline 0845 6026627
What happens if it does not work
If this mediation fails then you will have to use the traditional route using lawyers and possibly be back to the mud and blood of trench warfare. So it's really worth trying hard to reach a mediated agreement because if you don't the court will enforce one on both of you.