What Does Mediation Mean For Your Divorce?

Divorce has got a reputation for being difficult. It’s consistently ranked as one of the most stressful life events a person can go through, akin to bereavement and financial hardship. This is particularly true if there are children or significant assets like property and businesses involved – long drawn-out disagreements over who gets what, and who, ultimately, misses out.

But divorce doesn’t have to be this way. Just recently, the UK government introduced the No Fault Divorce – an alternative process whereby one half of the couple doesn’t need to attribute blame for the breakdown of the relationship to the other. Couples can now file an application from a more neutral standpoint, eliminating the conditions that have caused so many mutual decisions to turn sour.

But, even with the No Fault Divorce, not all divorces can be straightforward. You may still need to work through disagreements and issues. The wisest thing you can do is reach out to a solicitor that specialises in working through these sorts of conflicts. The Cheltenham-based firm Willans, for instance, is a member of the group Resolution, which offers a strong assurance of their ability to resolve matters without causing irreparable rifts.

What is mediation for?

Mediation is an alternative to (or first line of defence against) going to the courts to settle disputes between you and your ex-partner. Generally, if you have to go to court during your divorce, you will be required to provide proof that you attended, at the very least, an initial mediation session.

Why go to mediation?

Unless you and your partner feel able to cut ties without having to divide money, assets (like property and investments), business ownership, or custody of your children, mediation will represent an important part of your divorce.

Disputes can arise over a long list of issues, and it’s incredibly difficult for couples to resolve them on their own. With the emotions of coping with a divorce involved – and, potentially, a difficult power dynamic – these conversations can all too easily collapse.

In mediation, you will be helped and guided by an impartial third party. It’s no use trying to get your friends and family involved in these discussions, as it’s all too easy for people to take sides and form biases.

Reaching a resolution through mediation is a lot more affordable than a lengthy court case, and it can mean that you and your ex-partner are able to part on better terms, which is particularly valuable if you share children.

A solicitor is the best person to mediate these discussions, as they have the strongest understanding of divorce law and what resolutions are fair for both parties involved. While they can’t offer legal advice in these sessions, they can guide the conversation and keep it productive.

How long does mediation last?

That depends entirely on your relationship, and what issues you need to address before you are able to part ways completely.

If you don’t feel happy being in a room with your ex-partner, then the mediator can walk back-and-forth between two separate rooms, relaying messages. Of course, this makes mediation last a lot longer, but it is sometimes necessary.