There’s no hiding from the fact that getting a divorce can be tough – both emotionally and financially. Attempting to reach an agreement with your spouse about everything from how you’ll split your assets to who the children will live with and how often they will see the other parent can be difficult.

If you’re struggling to agree on child arrangements, could mediation be the solution you’re looking for? We look at how mediation works and whether it could help you and your spouse to reach an agreement on child matters.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process those going through a divorce (or any type of relationship breakdown) can use to help them to reach an agreement on a wide range of issues, including child matters and finances.

A trained, independent third party, known as a mediator, will aid discussions between you and your spouse, with the aim of helping you to reach an agreement.

The mediator’s role is impartial; they do not take sides. They are not able to give you legal advice, but they can provide information about legal processes and the law.

Why choose mediation?

As a parent, being on good terms with the other parent can be enormously beneficial – both for you and for your children – there will be long co-parenting relationship ahead. One of the main advantages of mediation is that it helps those going through a divorce to work together to reach an agreement, rather than fighting against each other in court.  It can be enormously positive for children to see their parents working together to come to an agreement despite their differences. 

If you can reach an agreement within the mediation process, this can save you time – and money – on lengthy court battles.

What’s more, mediation often works out cheaper than alternative methods like solicitor-to-solicitor negotiation or collaborative law.

Usually, court is viewed as a last resort, as it can be time-consuming, costly and can often serve to fuel confrontation between the two parties. Sometimes, however, court is the best option and for some couples, having a judge decide works best.

Do I need to see a solicitor as well as a mediator?

It’s highly recommended that both you and your spouse get independent legal advice alongside mediation, to ensure that you fully understand your rights.

If negotiations with your spouse regarding child arrangements have not been successful so far, mediation could help you to reach an agreement at the start of 2020. Get in touch for your free 30-minute consultation with one of our experienced divorce solicitors to find out if mediation is the best option for you.

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