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

Can You Afford A Divorce? (Guest family law blog post)

When we begin to think of divorce, two main aspects immediately come to mind, those being the emotional trauma and the financial distress which often follows. The irony here is worth mentioning: financial difficulties are one of the main reasons a couple seeks a divorce although the results of a divorce may have a much more profound effect on both parties which can far exceed any monetary problems they may have previously had. Let us take a look at a handful of the main expenses associated with divorce proceedings.
The initial cost depends largely on whether or not the divorce is contested. If both people cannot decide how to split various assets, fees can often run into the tens of thousands. Essentially, the more messy the proceedings are, the more money spent. While the so-called “do-it yourself” divorces may make sense for two people in agreement, it is best to hire a litigator should difficulties arise.

What Is An Asset?

An asset is defined as any personal property which has financial value to repay a debt. In the case of divorce, the “debt” can be though of as which party is owed what. Assets include bank accounts, properties, vehicles, stocks and bonds and everything in between. Unless a prenuptial agreement was signed beforehand, these assets will be appraised and divided accordingly. Depending on the situation, this division can come as a great loss to one party while another may vastly increase their financial position.


Should any children be involved, child support must be paid. These payments are determined on a graduated scale in regards to income. Once again, in a “no fault” divorce where both parties amicably split, any payments are conditional and not required as in the case of a contested divorce.


As assets are carefully examined during divorce proceedings, the division of a couple’s debt also takes place. This can be one of the most difficult parts of the whole process, as determining which debt is owed by which party can cause a great deal of tension. It is an unfortunate fact that during a messy divorce, people are prone to rack up a large debt simply to spite the other half. Should this debt issue not be resolved in a timely fashion the whole divorce will take considerably longer and therefore more costs will build up.

While the divorce proceedings, child support and debt and asset division may cost a great deal, let’s not forget what are called “start up” fees. These costs are the results of having to start over. They may include the down payment on a new residence, moving costs, child care costs, larger utility bills and others.

What Should I Do?

One of the best things to do should a divorce be looming on the horizon is to consult with a lawyer initially for an evaluation of what the overall costs may be. Monitor any credit cards and bank accounts to make certain that debt is not used as a weapon. Finally, both parties need to realise that the more they can find common ground, the less financial burden each will experience in both the short and long term.

This article was written in collaboration with Blanchards Law, specialists in family law.