Mediation before divorce is a great way to make the divorce process go much smoother. It allows both parties to mutually negotiate an agreement with the help of someone who is neutral and unbiased. Let’s face it — the entire process of divorce can take quite a toll on people.
It’s hard on both parties, on the families, and on assets as well. When it comes to deciding on divorce, the first thing that jumps into people’s heads is to find a solicitor. But, before that, people should consider mediation before divorce. It can be a much easier way to go about the entire process.
But how does it work? Well, we’ve spoken to THB Legal, leading lawyers in Chelmsford, about the benefits of using mediation before divorce.
In this post, you’ll find out why mediation can be so beneficial prior to divorce. We’ll talk about what it is, how it works, and the benefits of mediation too. So, if you want to learn more about mediation before divorce, keep reading.
What is mediation and what are the benefits of mediation before divorce?
Mediation is a process of using a third party to assist you with separating and discussing divorce matters prior to divorcing. Most solicitors will ask if you have tried mediation before approaching them for divorce advice and services. This third-party person acts neutrally. They assess the situation and provide advice. Mediators help negotiate terms in a civil way, with a neutral person involved. While mediation can help people reach fair and amicable resolutions, it does not always work. That being said, it has many benefits.
For one, mediation can be a cost-effective way of handling separation and divorce. It is much cheaper than going to court. If you are on a low income, you may qualify for legal aid. Unlike court, mediation is voluntary, so it allows both parties to be in an environment where they feel comfortable. As we’ve said, the mediator is impartial.
This means that both sides are treated fairly. Both parties can express their concerns to reach an agreement that benefits both sides. Mediation can also provide participants with a much quicker outcome. It has also been proven that mediation can help preserve relationships, as sometimes court settlements can end sourly.
How Does Mediation Work?
Mediation is a process of listening, explaining, and discussing. The mediation process is typically calm and civil. It works to resolve any disagreements until agreeable terms have been reached. Mediation should always be in line with the core principles of the process:
- Mediation will only work if all parties want to be there, and volunteer to try the process. It should be noted that both parties can leave at any time for any reason.
- Mediation works best when both parties work together to come to agreeable negotiations.
- While the mediator controls the environment and makes sure everything remains civil, both parties control the outcome. No one should agree to anything they don’t want to agree to.
- All mediation processes are confidential. Mediation negotiations are not admissible as evidence unless a signed mediation agreement is produced in court or any other legal environment. It is up to the mediator to lay out the terms of confidentiality.
- As mediators are qualified professionals, all of the information and advice they provide must be valid. While the participants decide the outcome of the mediation process, the mediator ensures that the legal advice they give is sound.
- As mentioned above, third-party mediators must be impartial, unbiased, and fully neutral. Ethically, they should not favor the interests of an individual.
- As mediation is voluntary and can only be resolved by both parties, participants should understand that this is an alternative to court proceedings or further legal action. If used properly, mediation can be a beneficial process for both parties.
When Mediation Before Divorce is Not Required
There are a number of reasons the mediation process may not be necessary for parties involved, including the following instances:
- There have been allegations of domestic violence against either party (supported with evidence)
- The dispute involves finances and one of the parties has declared bankruptcy
- The other party in the mediation process cannot be found or you are unsure of there location
- There are no mediator services within 15 miles of your residency or there are no appointments available within a 15-day window
- Either party is disabled and the mediation service does not have the facilities to accommodate them
- Mediation has not been successful after 4 months of attempts
- One of the parties is unwilling to attend mediation
- Social services are involved over the concern of the safety of your children
- Both parties agree and there is no dispute
- There is an imminent risk to either party’s life or safety
If any of the above apply, mediation is not required.
Consider using mediation before divorce: it can help save time, money, and potentially relationships too. Mediation proceedings keep things civil and allow both sides to be in a space where they are comfortable to negotiate to an agreement.
Lloyd Parkinson is a Content Marketing Executive at THB Legal. Lloyd has experience writing content for the purpose of marketing on behalf of B2B and B2C organizations ranging from legal services, insurance brokers, financial services, to music and the entertainment industry. Lloyd aims to educate his readers through his creative writing by providing them with informative and valuable content.