New Sharon Horgan HBO comedy series ‘Divorce’ continues on Sky Atlantic tonight with an episode entitled ‘Mediation’. The hit show starring Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church tells the story of a couple going through a long drawn out divorce.
The characters Frances and Robert are set to discover some of the realities of the divorce process after having previously attended couples therapy to see if counselling could help to save their marriage.
This is not the first time that family mediation has hit the TV screens. The BBC aired a documentary series entitled Mr v Mrs: Call the Mediator which gave viewers access to family mediation sessions which would typically be private and last year Coronation Street showed family mediation.
Mediation is a useful alternative tool to resolving disputes in divorce. Even if you aren’t able to resolve everything, mediation can help reduce the number of issues. This can help save on a couples costs if they end up taking their divorce to court as there might be fewer points to be contested there.
If mediation is successful it can help you to come to a full agreement with your ex, this can be recorded in the form of an order which can then be approved by a judge. As well as saving money mediation can reduce the stress and the time the divorce process takes for separating spouses.
Mediation is a non-binding process whereby you discuss issues and try to reach a resolution through a qualified family mediator. Family mediation can address all issues surrounding your separation, including arrangements for the children and division of assets. During mediation, your impartial mediator will assist you in discussing your situation in a calm and rational manner which can be helpful in resolving issues relating to children, as well as the division of property, assets and pensions.
In the UK, couples going through a divorce in most cases must make an attempt at mediation before any application is made to the court.
Compulsory MIAMs (Mediation Information Assessment Meetings) were introduced in April 2014 to encourage more divorces and separations to be settled out of court through mediation. However, there are some cases where mediation is not appropriate. These can include when you feel unable to speak in front of a former partner or in cases where there has been domestic abuse.
Slater and Gordon family lawyers can help you with your MIAM and the mediation that follows should your situation be suited to it.
For an initial consultation call the Family lawyers at Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we can call you back at a time that suits you.
Amy Harris is a family law solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.