24 February 2011
Divorce Couples to attend Mediation before Issuing Court Proceedings
Picture This …a Husband and Wife attend mediation and sort out all their differences. They decide who will divorce who and on what basis, decide who will get what from the matrimonial assets, decide who the children are going to live with, and how much contact the non-resident parent will have. Nice idea isn’t it?
However, in reality it doesn’t always work out like this…
After reviewing the news that HM Government announced that divorce couples be referred to mediation to sort out their disputes before they are allowed to use the Court, I cannot help thinking that this may be the Government looking at divorce through rose-tinted spectacles.
In reality, it's questionable whether family mediation will work. Often the parties’ positions are so entrenched that they cannot bear to be in the same room with one another, let alone sort out their issues in one mediation session!
Often, one party may not fully disclose their assets; for example, they may be hiding their assets offshore and therefore a full picture of the parties’ respective financial positions is not being presented in mediation and further investigation of what is in the “Matrimonial Pot” is required.
As the BBC states in this article, mediation may well have helped thousand of legally aided parties, however, people who are legally aided, by definition, do not have many assets to argue about.
Private paying clients who are not eligible for legal aid will find it more difficult to reach an agreement through mediation, especially when mediators are not legally qualified. Collaborative Law can be a more beneficial option, as this is a meeting which takes place with both parties being present with their respective Solicitors. Ideas and options about how best to proceed will be discussed and finalised.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have Family Law Solicitors across England & Wales specifically trained in Collaborative Law. For a free initial consultation about Collaborative Law call freephone 0808 175 8000 or contact us online.
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