Divorce Law

Exploring mediation – you don’t have to endure an ugly separation

If you’ve decided that divorce is the only way forward for your relationship, but are struggling to convince your partner/ex-partner to feel the same way, don’t panic – it doesn’t mean you have to endure a really ugly separation. You’ve probably already consulted with one of the divorce lawyers Farnham, Glasgow or wherever you live has to offer… why not talk to them about undergoing mediation of some kind?

Mediation sounds as if it might be scary, but it’s really not. It can do wonders for couples who perhaps aren’t entering into divorce with the same views; maybe one person doesn’t want to split up, or is determined to make the process as difficult as possible. At best, allowing a neutral body to help you air your views could help persuade the other person that this is the best route forward. At worst, it could at least make the process of splitting assets and custody of children a little easier.

So, what else do you need to know about mediation?

The mediator
Typically, the person assigned to mediate your case will be a trained, non-biased negotiator; an expert in viewing the facts and helping you both find the best route forward. He or she will know the full details of each person’s case and their feelings, but will have no strong leaning towards either party. If there are financial details to be worked out, they will have full access to those too; helping them help you find a path that keeps you both financially stable – as far as possible, anyway.

Mediators can also help both sides see the benefit of opting for a fair, well-thought-through custody agreement; explaining that it’s about what’s best for the children, ultimately. They are experts in tackling commonly-held arguments, such as: “Well, I brought them up whilst you went out and worked…”, or “Well, I’ve paid all of the bills for the last decade…”; something which can prove invaluable during such a painful process.

Will it work for me?
If you’re struggling through a difficult divorce, it’s probably a good idea to enter into mediation. It will help you both reach mutually-agreeable terms; something which sending lawyers’ letters back and forth can’t always promise. Dealing with each other through your legal representatives can cause anger and resentment; feelings which will only made the process a lot harder. Instead, mediation forces you both to sit in the same room and hash out any problems. Often, you’ll find that it’s a lot harder to sound off or get really angry when you’re sat in front of each other. You may be able to approach the situation with a clearer head; especially when you feel supported by your mediator.

Is it confidential?
Anything said in front of your partner/ex-partner and the mediator is entirely confidential. The mediator is not at liberty to pass on any information to a third party legal representative unless you give them strict permission to do so. What’s more, anything you say in the presence of your mediator cannot be used in court as evidence against one party. There’s only one real exception to this rule: if the mediator believes either of you or any of your children are in danger as a result of any anger you may feel, then they may deem it necessary to stop proceedings and inform the appropriate body (i.e. the police).

Divorce Law

Divorce – reactions you can expect to see

Telling people close to you that you are getting a divorce is never going to be enjoyable for you – and you have to expect them to react to the news too.

Similar to grief, there is no right reaction to hearing that a friend or family member is splitting from their partner. When you tell your nearest and dearest that you are getting a divorce, you should be aware that they may not have thought about it before, so their reaction may not be ideal.

Obviously you need to be honest if they upset you with the way they respond, but keep in mind that they may act differently once they have had a chance to process the news – they are only human. In contrast, you should expect local legal representation such as Putney solicitors to maintain a professional outlook on the case at all times, as it is their job to do so.

Below are a few of the reactions you may encounter:


There will be a lot of people for whom your news will come as a real surprise, so they may be lost for words at first. You will probably be able to read almost immediately how they feel about the situation by the way they react – a calmer response could suggest the thought had crossed their mind.

When someone is completely surprised they will often have a huge number of questions to help them understand the news; while you may be happy to share everything with your best friend, do not be afraid of shutting down a conversation if you are not comfortable opening up yet. People will understand if you just say that you would prefer not to talk about it yet.


Another natural reaction to bad news is for your loved ones to be sympathetic. Your friends and family will want only the best for you, so to hear that you are splitting up with a person you love/loved will prompt them to offer their sympathy for your situation. Rightly or wrongly, this can sometimes cross over into over-sympathy, but do try to remember they are trying to help.

They may worry about the situation – where you will live, your finances, etc. – and make it out to seem like your divorce is a truly terrible event, when in fact you have steeled yourself as well as planned how you will cope without your partner. If somebody ventures into over-sympathy territory, then it may just be easier to change the subject.


For some, the automatic reaction to negative news is anger, so you might find that they criticise your husband or wife and take your side completely. This can help you blow off steam but is not particularly healthy in the long-term, so avoid getting bogged down in conversations about how horrible your partner was, as no doubt some part of you still cares for them.

The flip-side of this is that a handful of people may react critically towards you – perhaps members of your partner’s family – and this generally does not go anyway healthy. If you want to bury the hatchet with them then think about writing them a letter, as this allows you to offer a more considered response to their criticism; however, do not feel like you must always explain yourself.

Author: Chris Brown has a great deal of experience with solicitors in UK and hopes you will find his articles of use. For further info on divorce lawyers visit