If you have reached the unhappy decision to separate or divorce, then you cannot go far wrong with a mediated divorce. Mediated divorces are far more amicable than traditional divorces and assists with helping both of you to understand each other’s needs and interests rather than fighting tooth and nail over who gets what. A mediator will request full financial disclosure from both of you in the same way as a solicitor will. The only difference is that you are both in the same room so that any misunderstandings can be cleared up straight away. This makes the process much, much quicker enabling you both to move on with your lives instead of being financially stuck and emotionally entrenched over a long period of time.
If children are involved, then both of you can look at what is in the best interests of the children. It is always best for children to have as much contact as possible with both parents as they will be going through an emotional upheaval too. Children can become very confused when their parents are separating or divorcing and many blame themselves. Within mediation such issues can be addressed and you can both discuss how best to let your children know what is happening. Much research suggests that children like to be kept informed but this needs to be done in a way that reflects their ages. Children should not be made to bear adult problems.
If you are considering a mediated divorce, then these are our top seven tips to get things right:
1. Keep an Open Mind
If you both have fixed ideas of what you are expecting and are not willing to budge, then this can cause problems. By keeping an open mind, you are permitting yourselves to explore all options to see what is best for all concerned.
2. Listen to each other
You will be surprised at how much anger can be diffused if you listen to what is going on with the other person and what their concerns are.
3. Be kind to yourselves
Guilt and blame may be playing a part. Forgive yourselves and each other. Both of you are going through turmoil, regardless of who has made the decision to end the relationship. You may have reached the end of your relationship but this also signals new beginnings.
4. Be realistic
Your joint household income will now have to accommodate two separate households. Unless there is an opportunity to increase your income, this can be extremely difficult for separating couples to come to terms with.
5. Be fair to each other
Many divorces end up in Court because one person wants to make the other pay. This only reduces your assets! Both of you need to be housed; need contact with your children; and need to be able to live. Things will change and you can determine whether this happens smoothly or with difficulty.
6. Be flexible
There is more than one way to meet your needs and interests. Mediation can help you to explore all options.
7. Decide whether you want to be right or want to get it sorted!
Past hurts can prevent you from moving on with your life. If you have both decided that your relationship is over, then why waste time being right?