Advice from Family Lawyers in London: Is Divorce Mediation Right for Me?

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Starting your divorce proceedings and wondering what the best method for you is? Here are the questions to ask yourself if you’re unsure of the difference between litigation and mediation, and which family lawyers in London is right for you.

Getting divorced isn’t easy; just like people and relationships are different, all divorces are different. Even though you may have friends and family who have been through the process before you, your experience will be unique in a number of ways.

For this reason, it’s crucial to make sure you choose the method of divorce that best suits your situation. Mediation can be a great way to avoid conflict with your ex, or it can be a road to disagreement and a battle that would have been better off overseen by a judge. So is it the right method for you? Here’s how to decide.

What is Mediation Divorce? The Family Lawyers in London Guide

There are four main types of divorce: litigation, mediation, collaborative and DIY. Each of these also have variations of their own; what the majority of people understand to be mediation is actually known as evaluative mediation.

In evaluative mediation, an impartial third person, like a divorce lawyer in London with mediation training, meets with both parties to hear what they disagree about. The mediator then meets with both parties individually, often multiple times. A mediator does not develop leanings either way and is not there to make orders, find faults or determine resolutions. This is a key difference between mediation and arbitration. The focus of mediation is to find a mutually beneficial solution that suits both parties and, as such, this leads to a much higher level of satisfaction with the results of mediation than arbitration and litigation.

Are We Divorcing As Friends?

The first question to ask yourself is: “do I still like my ex-partner?” Put bluntly, if you hate your partner’s guts and want to take them to court for everything they own, then mediation isn’t for you. If your marriage broke down because of communication problems, the chances are that mediation also won’t work.

A major question when deciding whether to go for mediation or litigation is whether you’ll be able to compromise. In cases involving violence, abuse, or substance abuse, mitigation isn’t the answer. But if you can both take the time to put aside your hurt and listen to one another, mitigation allows you to hear each other’s side and offers a greater chance of you maintaining a friendship afterwards.

The decision to divorce is rarely mutual, but unless your divorce involves more extreme circumstances like substance abuse, funds being hidden, or violence, mitigation can lessen the emotional trauma for both of you. Ask your family lawyer in London if they themselves offer mitigation services, or if they can recommend a service to you.

A family looking out to the lake following a meeting with a family lawyer in London

Are Children Involved? A Divorce Lawyer in London Can Help

Whether you like it or not, if you have children together, barring extreme circumstances (domestic violence, abuse, etc.) your family will still exist after your relationship ends. This means that for the sake of your children, it’s better to at least try and end on amicable terms — something that will be aided if you opt for mediation from a divorce lawyer in London.

Like in your marriage counselling sessions if you tried those previously, mediation allows you to hear each other’s needs in a way that a courtroom battle won’t. If you want full custody, but your spouse wants the children every weekend, being able to talk it out in a non-aggressive way to find something that works for both of you will help you have civil, friendly handovers and assist your children in not feeling blame for your break up.

Mitigation through family lawyers in London can make a divorce less financially and emotionally draining for you, your ex and your children. If you think it would suit you, suggest it to your spouse and see if they also think it would be a good fit.

To find out more about mediation and other services offered by some of the best family lawyers in London, contact KMJ solicitors today.

Clayton spent five years working in family law with a firm in Australia before moving to the UK in 1999. He deals with all aspects of family law, specialising in all family matters, offshore trusts, company structures, international law, prenuptial agreements, high net worth cases and cohabitation law.