As January rolls around each year, it’s a time when many people take stock of their lives and work out what changes they might implement for a happier 2019. There are of course resolutions which may challenge us to try something new, but for some, January brings the clarity they may need to end a relationship and take the first steps towards a new future.
One of the most daunting aspects of doing so is untangling a life which has been carefully woven together, without causing further stress and upset which separation can often bring. You may have heard of a friend’s experience of the Court process and decide that it isn’t for you, so how do you go about dealing with the fall out of a relationship in a constructive way?
Well, for the last three years the Family Mediators Association has organised Family Mediation Week which is aimed to raise awareness of mediation and connect you to local mediators who may be able to support you through a separation.
There will be lots of decisions ahead – starting with where you and your partner will live, whether the children will live with one or both of you and then there is dividing the pool of assets which you have acquired. Whilst these are decisions which can be taken by a Judge, it is often more empowering for you to take control of the outcome and work with your former partner to find a solution which works for your family. A family mediator will facilitate those discussions, to help you find a resolution in a non-confrontational way. Not only does this allow you to find a bespoke solution, but it also promotes a long term healthier dialogue with your former partner.
Family mediation is a voluntary process, which means that both you and your former partner will need to agree to attend. It is not possible to force someone to attend mediation against their will. However, we often find that when given the option of mediation, the other party responds well – particularly given that the costs of mediation can often be far less than contested court proceedings.
If you feel like you need some support through mediation, it is open to you to instruct a solicitor to advise you in the background. As a solicitor, we can be as involved as you need us to be and we would always be happy to discuss a potential settlement with you, so that you feel fully equipped to have those tricky but necessary conversations in mediation.
At Rayden Solicitors, we are delighted to offer a suite of Alternate Resolution processes, which offer a more holistic approach to resolving family disputes. To find out more about the mediation process in particular, you can find a helpful overview here