The Daily Express reported yesterday that relations could not be worse between Dragon’s Den Duncan Bannatyne and his ex-wife, Joanne McCue. This is especially sad as the couple have two young children. Bannatyne says that communication has been through solicitors since the divorce petition landed on his doorstep.
It’s fair to say Bannatyne wouldn’t be the first person to go through an acrimonious Divorce. So what options are there for couples who want to separate without relations ending in this way? The answer is mediation and/or adopting a collaborative approach to Separating.
Mediation is a voluntary process that helps separating couples reach an agreement over how they divide their assets and/or what the living arrangements will be for the children when mum and dad are no longer living under the same roof. You can refer yourself to a family mediator, who will meet with both couples to explain the mediation process. Provided you both agree to mediate, the process begins with the two of you and the mediator sitting round a table to discuss the issues that need to be resolved, either in terms of dividing the marital assets or deciding the arrangements for the Children.
If sitting in a room with your ex and without your lawyer does not appeal to you, then collaborative law may be worth considering. This process enables both parties and their lawyers to discuss together how you will separate the family finances etc. in a series of 4 way meetings.
Court is not inevitable; there is a better way to separate after all.
By Family Law Solicitor Sarah Thompson.
Read more about how Family Mediation can help you.