Splitting up is never easy. As any family solicitor will tell you, each divorce is unique and while some cases are handled without the need for a court appearance, some separations are complex and full of dispute over many things, including children and financial arrangements. In these cases, the parties to the separation may need divorce mediation and the family court will expect parties to have, at the very least, explored other options, such as mediation, before applying to the court for an order.
MoJ mediation video for clear explanation of the process
In June 2013, the Ministry of Justice released a video to explain how mediation can help couples who wish to divorce or separate and how, for example, it could help them agree certain arrangements without the need to go to court.
The video, in a cartoon format, answers simple questions about the mediation process, such as what is mediation? and why it may be preferable to going straight to court when a dispute appears unresolvable.
It also answers questions regarding whether mediation would be an attempt to reconcile the parties (no, it won’t) and whether a mediator will grant the divorce (no, a judge will have to dissolve the marriage).
Mediation is primarily, a chance for couples to discuss arrangements and agree details with the help of a trained, impartial third party. The parties may still wish to seek legal guidance from their divorce solicitor as well, but lawyers are not usually present at mediation sessions.
The animation explains that anything agreed during mediation is not legally binding. Only a judge can rule on a divorce settlement order, but solutions discussed by the parties during mediation may well become part of a future divorce agreement which the judge would be very likely to accept.
The video also offers links to more information about mediation and when legal aid for the process may be applicable.
Healys family solicitors ensure your best interests are maintained
Although mediation is unarguably a useful tool in reaching agreement with your former partner over matters such as arrangements for children and finances, Healys’ divorce lawyers urge couples to seek independent legal advice to ensure their rights are upheld during any divorce settlement negotiations.
Although the court will always seek fairness in any ruling it makes on divorce, once that order has been made it may be difficult or even impossible to alter it at a later date.
By consulting a family lawyer at Healys you can rest assured that the team will strive to ensure your legal rights, and those of your dependants, are upheld.
For more information on mediation and your rights in divorce, or just to discuss your situation with a family solicitor, please call Healys’ London or Brighton offices today.