It’s a well know fact that the impact of divorce on children can be deep-rooted and long-lasting – which is why more separating parents are looking for ways of communicating about their separation in a way which puts their children’s wellbeing first.
An increasing number of separating couples also want to avoid the emotional trauma, stress and expense of litigation and a drawn out court battle.
In a courtroom, binding decisions of huge importance – such as how your financial assets are divided and how much time you can spend with your children – can be taken out of your hands by a Judge.
Mediation is an alternative way forward which puts you in the driving seat. In mediation you and your ex work constructively towards agreed arrangements aligned with your family’s long-term interests.
During mediation you and your ex discuss, confidentially with a qualified mediator, those issues which are most important to you. With the right mediator, there is no reason why financially complex issues cannot be agreed using the process.
Advantages of using mediation include financial and time savings as the process takes the time it needs to resolve your particular issues. This can be anything from one meeting in less complex cases to several meetings over a few months, where the background issues are more complicated.
This measured approach, which keeps communication channels open, can also lessen the emotional impact of the split on your children.
You will still need legal advice in support of the mediation process and the mediator will guide you as to when this is required. The amount of solicitor involvement is much more limited than in a conventional case however, which makes the legal costs much lower.
Where necessary, agreements reached in mediation can easily be incorporated into draft orders by your solicitors and approved by a Judge to be made legally binding.
The benefits of mediation are being highlighted extensively during Family Mediation Week which runs across January 17 to January 21. Organised by the Family Mediation Council, the initiative is supported by the Family Mediators Association, The Law Society, National Family Mediation, Resolution and the College of Mediators.
ABOUT NICKI MITCHELL
With extensive experience in family law, Nicki specialises in the financial aspects of relationship breakdown – and particularly complex cases involving family businesses, multiple properties, and complicated pension arrangements.
A skilled mediator and collaborative family lawyer, Nicki has recently further enhanced her extensive expertise by becoming a child-inclusive mediator. The accreditation enables her to who meets with children of separated parents and hear what they want for their future.