Divorce Law

Problem-Solving Negotiation and Mediation vs Adversarial Negotiation

Divorce is never easy, but there are ways to make the process a little more comfortable. The usual divorce is filed in court and can take years to resolve in an adversarial negotiation. Motions, pre-trial filings and depositions all take time and previously there was no way around it.

Now, there is a move in family law towards problem-solving negotiation or mediation. Many people are surprised to know that there is another way to settle issues within the family without going straight to a lawsuit. When both parties have the same end goal and there are no other major issues, a problem solving negotiation or mediation would be more beneficial for the family.

Family law is a very complex area of law. Sometimes there is no right or wrong in a relationship, there are just two very differing views on the same matter. There are so many laws governing divorce that a divorce or child custody proceeding could go on for years. Showing up for hearings that the other party can continue can unnecessarily eat up your time. There is a way to accomplish the same end in a much more efficient and holistic way. Spending years in court is not beneficial to any party involved and all parties can benefit from the process being much shorter and efficient.

When children are involved the situation is particularly sensitive. A problem-solving process would allow parents to keep the kids from being interrogated in a court proceeding. Both parties can agree that having the children involved in the actual process is not a healthy thing and both parties can agree to insulate the children so that they are less affected by the actual proceedings.

In addition, the negotiation or mediation is generally less stressful because the result is crafted with input from both parties. When both parties have input in the outcome and not just a judge, both parties are getting something that they want. Usually, both parties do not get everything they want, but they are able to come up with a solution that works.

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There is a way to minimize the damage of divorce and minimize the stress of the process. Splitting up is always emotional, but it doesn’t have to be done by traditional means. Negotiation can sometimes take less time because you get straight to the problem without paperwork drawing out the process. It is better for both parties to end to the relationship in an efficient and fair manner.

Divorce Law

Justice minister McNally pledges extra £10 million for divorces

Family justice minister Lord McNally has pledged an extra £10 million towards helping people bring their marriage to an end using mediation. The money is set to be used to fund extra mediation services, which are often used to avoid couples having to fight in court.

Mediation is a useful tool which can avoid upsetting and costly court battles, and might be appropriate for situations involving children or where there are a variety of different assets to split – property or cash for instance.

In a statement the Ministry of Justice said that the additional funding may help couples to avoid the “traumatic and divisive effect of courtroom battles”.

Lord McNally commented: “Going through a divorce or separation can be an emotionally draining and stressful time for everyone involved, especially for children. All too often money is wasted on expensive and traumatic court hearings that can take far too long to resolve – and that is why we want to help people to use mediation, a quicker and simpler approach which brings better outcomes.”

According to figures quoted by the Ministry of Justice the average cost incurred when resolving property and finance disputes in a divorce is around £500 – this figure increases to approximately £4,000 if these separation issues are settled in the courts.

As well as this, the average mediated case is resolved in a quarter of the time of a non-mediated dispute.

It’s positive that steps are being taken to resolve divorces in a way which save time, heartache and money for both sides. Many couples who have taken the painful decision to legally part ways may not realise that mediation is an option, but many law firms will offer it before pursuing a court resolution.

If you are interested in mediation then it is vital you opt for a legal professional with the knowledge and experience necessary to deal with complex cases. The most skilled mediators are those who strike the balance between professional and personal, bringing both legal skills and a sense of concern to their clients.

Hattons Solicitors have a dedicated team of  family law solicitors specialising in family law including cohabitation agreements, divorce law and separation.