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Mediation can help dissolution

View profile for Claire Knight
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Most couples will hit a bump at some point along the path of married life. For most, it can be easily overcome, sometimes with marriage counselling, sometimes without. When you feel like your marriage has more bumps than you can iron out, and you are tired of having the same conversations again and again, there is a point when it is easier to walk away than to keep fighting.

Divorce rates have fallen for the first time in 40 years, and are currently at the lowest rates since 1975. There are no prizes for remaining in an unhappy marriage. You may choose to work on an unhappy marriage, go to marriage counselling and try new lines of communication. Once you feel you’ve explored every option, and can’t see a way out, then divorce is the next step to leave your relationship and move on with your life.

When you both feel that your relationship has reached the end of the road, it is worth considering mediation alongside divorce. Obviously to end a marriage, divorce is the final step however a lot of people don’t consider mediation as a cheaper and often calmer way of dividing assets than going straight to divorce lawyers.

Claire Knight, Mediator and family specialist at Warner Goodman LLP shares her views on the benefits of undergoing mediation alongside divorce: “When a couple splits or divorces, there is the obvious route of going straight to a solicitor to action lengthy proceedings which tend to be expensive and stressful, with the partners sacrificing a lot to avoid making the situation longer. Since new guidelines were set out instructing each divorcing couple to meet with a mediator, many couples have found the separation process much calmer, as it is done in a friendly and neutral environment. Most couples find this a fair way of voicing opinions regarding the distribution of assets and agreeing on childcare arrangements, which saves children from being taken into the legal process.”

Claire concludes: “When a separating couple agree to mediation, they should understand that it is not a form of marriage counselling or divorce, but a way of amicably separating. Any agreements made in a mediation session can be drawn into a legally-binding contact by a qualified solicitor to form part of the divorce. This can save hours of more expensive solicitor fees and the pain of going through the court process for any longer than necessary, potentially salvaging a friendship out of the marriage.”

If you’re looking for advice on mediation or divorce you can contact Claire or the family team on 02380 717431 or click on their section of the website here.


This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.