How Family Mediation Can Help Reduce the Financial Strain of Divorce - December 2023

When a couple initiates a divorce, it is common for there to be areas of disagreement, particularly when it comes to financial matters. In this article, we explore the role of family mediators in alleviating the expensive costs often associated with divorce.

What is Family Mediation?

Mediation offers an alternative approach to resolving disputes, providing a platform for parties to come together and negotiate various arrangements, such as child visitation and financial matters, in a cooperative manner with the assistance of an impartial third party. The mediator’s role is not to impose decisions but rather to facilitate discussions, enhance communication, and support parties in reaching their own agreements. It is a legal requirement for parties to attempt mediation before resorting to court applications.


How Family Mediation Can Help Reduce the Cost

Mediation can be incredibly effective in mitigating any potential disputes between yourself and your ex-spouse and, more importantly, can help to reduce the financial strain which we’re going to explore in this section:

Reducing Solicitors’ Fees

When a divorce turns acrimonious it will often lead to numerous hours spent with solicitors in meetings and phone calls. Needless to say, this can work out to be extremely expensive over time and can even lead to issues with debt. Enlisting the assistance of a family mediator can effectively streamline the divorce process, ultimately reducing solicitors’ fees by eliminating the necessity of going to court to resolve the issues at hand.

Minimises the Potential for Costly Court Proceedings

Family mediation can also help to sort out disagreements over child custody and child maintenance payments. It’s almost always best if a couple tries to come to an agreement about payments themselves but, when this doesn’t happen, it can lead to a long drawn out and expensive court battle. A mediator can help couples reach a solution which is fair and affordable for both parties – and one which is much more flexible than one which is appointed by a court.

Dividing Costs More Effectively

Once a divorce has been initiated, it is usual for one party to move out until the terms of the divorce are settled and the family home can be sold and divided. If that party is having to pay rent during this time, these costs can be significant. A family mediator can help to cut the time taken to reach an agreement and therefore reduce costs such as property rental.


Reducing Conflict

In addition to the significant financial implications of a divorce, utilising mediation can also alleviate the overall unpleasantness and conflict that often accompany the separation process. In situations where a divorce is highly contentious or one party feels nervous about spending time alone with the other, mediation offers a safe environment to discuss and negotiate the terms of the divorce.

This can be particularly beneficial in cases of acrimonious divorces, although there are exceptions to consider. If either you or your partner has obtained an injunction or restraining order against the other, the terms of such an order would prohibit participation in divorce mediation until the order is lifted.

Moving forward with Mediation

Amidst the turmoil of a divorce, heightened emotions can drive both parties to conflict and animosity. In worst cases, this can result in a deadlock where neither side is willing to compromise, leading to escalating costs and deepening resentments.

While mediation cannot magically fulfil everyone’s desires, it can serve as a valuable tool to expedite negotiations within a safe environment, thereby curbing solicitors’ fees. Overall, engaging in mediation can help empower divorcing individuals to work together toward a resolution that can better serve their shared interests.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a family lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on separation. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

Source: Mums Savvy Savings


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