by Jay Williams
For more than a decade now, I’ve worked with a UK-based online divorce provider. We offer couples that consent to their divorce and agree on how their assets should be divided with fixed-fee solutions.
In my time here, I’ve fielded enquiries from multiple individuals who have been unable to successfully negotiate the redistribution of their possessions and, as they were concerned about the cost of negotiating through solicitors, wanted to know if we were aware of any alternatives.
In the majority of circumstances, these individuals believed that they and their spouses were close to an agreement, but that their negotiations ultimately became embroiled in emotion and that this led to arguments.
What was always clear was that, with the help of a cool-headed and objective third party, the likelihood of the couple arriving at an agreement would increase substantially. This is why I, and all of my colleagues, provide such individuals with the same advice: to try divorce mediation.
These recommendations are partly made because of mediation’s affordability, of course, but I am firmly of the opinion that its greatest benefit is not financial but emotional.
By remaining bipartisan and non-judgemental, mediators help couples arrive at agreements that suit both parties whilst minimising the possibility of discord.
Many people would – initially at least – presume that the major benefit of using mediation is financial but, whilst it is often significantly cheaper than an agreement that is negotiated by a solicitor or via an order obtained from court, it is this non-confrontational approach and the fact that it fosters amicability that is, in the opinion of someone who’s helped thousands of people get divorced, far more important.
Solicitors only act for one party and have a professional obligation to get their clients the best settlements they possibly can. This obligation can lead to protracted negotiations that are not only expensive but extremely stressful too – and the experience will only become more traumatic if a court ruling is sought.
When agreements can be reached without the need for solicitors or court appearances, the divorce process is, whilst never pleasant, significantly less likely to have a long-lasting and adverse effect on the parties’ emotional wellbeing.
The benefits of this are obvious, particularly for those sharing parental responsibility.
A difficult divorce can colour a relationship indefinitely and often results in the two spouses involved harbouring negative feelings towards one another. The need to provide children of the marriage with the love, care, support, encouragement and stability they need can become extremely difficult under such circumstances.
When the divorce is relatively straightforward, however, it is significantly easier for both parties to view matters objectively and remain composed meaning that they’ll be emotionally prepared to provide their children with all that they need following their divorce having been finalised.
In order to operate effectively, separated parents will need to be adept at both teamwork and compromise. As both of these skills are actively encouraged by mediation, merely attending these sessions will serve to improve them.
Indeed, many of the individuals that have attended mediation have informed me that they felt that they were now more empathetic and considerate of their former spouse’s needs and that this made it much easier to maintain a cordial relationship with them.
Several of our clients that attended mediation have even informed me that, whilst they realised that they and their former spouses were not well-suited to one another in terms of a marriage, they are now close friends and still enjoy one another’s company.
One client was so comfortable with her former spouse, in fact, that they had both agreed that they would take their children on a family holiday together every year.
Ultimately, mediation can not only make a divorce cheaper and easier, it can – and often does – have an immeasurably positive effect on the life of those involved in the long-term too!
This article was submitted by, Jay Williams, a case manager at Quickie Divorce, one of the largest providers of uncontested divorce solutions in England and Wales.
He lives in Cardiff, Wales, with his wife and two-year-old daughter Eirys.
Jay Williams, Case Manager, Quickie Divorce.
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