Love and Money - What Happens When it all goes Wrong?
In these financially difficult times, could Mediation be the answer in saving legal costs, if you and your partner separate?
Is it true what they say? Is there nothing worse than love and money? When times are hard, financial worries can all too often push couples into separation. Along with the stress of a relationship breakdown, there is the added worry of how couples will cope balancing not only their needs but also those of their children.
Traditionally, separations were dealt with through the parties' solicitors; "speak to my solicitor" was the usual response, with costs ever increasing and no resolution in sight. When couples separate financial worries are at the forefront of their minds, along with arrangements to see their children. These issues can be resolved quickly and cheaply through mediation, without the need to involve the courts. Most importantly this means that you make the final decisions.
Family mediation has been with us for a number of years and is now considered the sensible approach to resolving issues when couples separate. So what is it? Mediation helps you work together to find your own solutions to your own unique problems. All issues resulting from any relationship breakdown can be addressed at Mediation. The face-to-face approach in mediation means that during each session a number of issues can be discussed and resolved. Family mediators are trained specialist solicitors, who work in family law, so are able to identify the issues you need to resolve to suit your specific needs. However, unlike the court system, you and your partner are able discuss your concerns and issues openly, with the help of a mediator. The mediator encourages couples to find their own solutions; Instead of the resolution being imposed by the court. With mediation you can stay in control of your future.
Mediators are trained to be impartial and cannot act for either party, so you can be confident that the Mediator is working with you and your partner to find a resolution which suits both of your needs. The sessions are confidential and legally privileged so, should arrangements breakdown later, what was agreed in mediation cannot be discussed in court. The mediator, although legally trained, does not give advice, but instead provides legal information to assist you and your partner to make informed decisions. At the end of each session, you can each then take advice from your legal representatives.
Unlike traditional negotiations which can take months if not years, usually all issues resulting from the relationship breakdown can be achieved in a couple of sessions, saving time and money for those involved. Once all issues have been resolved, the mediator will forward to your legal advisors a record of what has been proposed, known as a Memorandum of Understanding, they will then deal with implementing the proposals within the usual legal process.
Family mediation is an alternative approach to how you and your partner can deal with issues resulting from your separation, in a friendly impartial environment you can reach a resolution tailor made to your needs and wishes.
Alison Gaddes is a Resolution trained solicitor and mediator working for Hellewell, Pasley and Brewer at their Birstall Office, to arrange an appointment or find out more about mediation please ring Alison on 01924 472596.