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Stage Two of the Divorce Process: What to Expect from Mediation

Each year in January our team sees a spike in Divorce following the festive season. This year we’re taking you through the stages of divorce so you know what to expect if you find yourself in this situation. Stage two is mediation, with the following looking at what you can expect from the process and how you should prepare.

Many people find the prospect of attending mediation a daunting one and will have many questions. What’s going to happen? What am I expected to say? Will I be ganged up on?! Mediation can be a really great tool to help couples going through a divorce reach an agreement on many different issues.

Mediation gives both parties the opportunity to sit down and, in their own words, put their side of the story across. Before you attend, it’s worth making some notes to ensure that you remember all of the points you want to bring up.

What Should I Expect from Mediation

The mediator can encourage you to think about things from another perspective and to compromise in order to reach a conclusion that everyone is happy with.  They will listen and help you communicate with your ex-partner effectively. The mediator will be impartial and will not take sides. They are trained to help you and your ex-partner resolve your differences and reach an agreement.

The session is likely to last 1-2 hours and quite often you may need a couple of sessions to get an issue resolved. If you don’t feel comfortable talking with your ex-partner, the mediator can even arrange to see you separately.

The great part about all of this? You stay in control.

What if We Don’t Reach an Agreement?

Unfortunately, if you are unable to reach an agreement on a particular issue in mediation, the only way to get that issue resolved is to let the court decide. The decision-making process is therefore taken out of your hands and put in the hands of the judge who ultimately can make a decision that you aren’t happy with.

It’s also important to note that, generally speaking, you have to have at least attempted mediation before you make any application to the court.

The vast majority of people who attend mediation find it really helpful and even if you can’t iron out all of your differences in mediation, a solicitor can always help you tie up any loose ends.

If you’re looking for advice on any stage of the divorce process, our expert family team is here to help with the advice you need. Contact us for further information.   

Gabrielle Read-Thomas is a family law solicitor who specialises in all aspects of family law at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to understand each stage as you go through the process. You can find out more about each stage in the links below:

Stage One: Separation

Stage Three: Divorce

Stage Four: Finances

Stage Five: Children

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