Posts Tagged ‘Mediation as a solution.’

Mediation – A good method?

An interesting article in the Guardian today about mediation:  It confirms that mediation does work when both people are invested in the process and are able to reach a compromise.  In other words, with a skilled mediator, those people who will go the extra mile to be in charge of the outcome of their own divorce will be able to manage it.  It becomes more complicated though, when there is lack of trust.  If one partner does not believe that the other has disclosed all the assets or savings or pensions that he has, then it is all but nigh on impossible to come to a fair conclusion. How is one to negotiate when the cards aren’t all on the table?  There are also the people who want to mediate but who feel that even though a fair enough outcome is reached that the other person will not honour it.  That is, that before the agreement is drawn up by a lawyer and endorsed by the court that the other side will go back on his or her word.  It has to be better for an individual to be able to negotiate what he wants out of his divorce rather than have a Judge impose something and it has to be better to try and talk about the issues than be on the receiving end of lawyers letters. Anything that makes a painful event, less drawn out and less painful is good. There are lots of pitfalls to mediation and hurdles to climb but if it is possible to mediate rather than litigate, then of course, it is a less painful, less costly and quicker way to settle.  However, it doesn’t fit everyone and then the next way of divorcing more amicably is to engage in the collaborative process rather than the litigation process. All these things are a minefield to people who haven’t given any of this a second thought or even a first one, the day before separation.  It’s not easy to suddenly ‘know’ about how to divorce at the same time as dealing with all the pain associated with it.  There are many ways to approach a legal divorce, but time is needed to understand how to do it and what is best not only for you but for your family.

Mediation as an alternative to litigation.

Many people would applaud the idea of mediating as opposed to litigating if at all possible. It is significantly less costly, quicker and more peaceful than embarking on a court process where decisions and timetables are out of your hands. However, the new idea that all couples need to have a session of mediation before being allowed to engage in the court process sounds good in principle, but not necessarily in practice. Often one person wants to mediate and the other wants a battle. Just as it takes two to have a relationship, it takes two to mediate and both people need to be willing. Mediation is not a soft option, it should run parallel with the legal process and although lawyers get a bad press, they are invaluable in giving sound advice as to what is appropriate and what is not, when negotiating a settlement. Sometimes mediation is not the right forum for issues where one person is unwilling to negotiate, particularly where children are concerned. If a father or mother refuses to return the children after contact, no amount of mediating is going to change that parents mind and the advice and assistance of a lawyer will need to be sought and if necessary a court application will have to be made. Mediation is certainly a good alternative to unecessary litigation and many disputes and issues can be mediated. However, those that can’t will need to take some legal advice and try and acheive a satisfactory outcome through the court system. Fortunately, now there is an alternative to acrimonious litigation in the form of collaborative law. To find a collaborative lawyer go to