Divorce Mediation or Litigation?

War or Peace?

No matter how tempting it is to go head to head with your spouse in court, the outcome may not be what you want or expect!

The table below gives you a fairly comprehensive comparison between Litigation and Mediation:

 Divorce through Litigation

Divorce through Mediation

The Court decides…
The outcome will be decided by a judge. The decision is final and legally binding. Any changes require further court proceedings.

You decide…
The outcome will be determined by you and your spouse. You can change your agreements by further negotiation in the future.

It costs you a small fortune…
Your combined solicitor’s fees will be anything from £12 000 to £25 000 or more. You pay for discovery, delays, trials, countless phone conversations between the solicitors.

You save a fortune..
Mediation fees could be as little as £300 – £900 (Based on 2 – 6 Sessions).
Plus a review with your solicitor who will do the paperwork for the Consent Order and the combined total is likely to be less than £2000.

Your children suffer more
If custody is contested, the court will probably appoint a solicitor for your children and that could possibly mean invasive psychological evaluations of the family.

You protect your children
The two of you will determine what’s in the best interests of your children.

Your personal, financial and case details on public record !…
All the personal details where you and your spouse make accusations against each other to gain advantage could be on public records available to anyone to view, even years later by your children and grand children.

Your privacy is maintained…
Mediation is a confidential process where decisions are made in a private conference room. Your Memorandum of Understanding is a confidential document and cannot be used in court. Your solicitor will use your MOU to issue a Consent Order, which will become a legal document.

The court controls when you see your children.
The Court will decide when you have custody of your children and you will need to return to court for every change as the kids get older.

You have more choice
You can try out various parenting plans to see if they work. You can modify the plans as your children get older without returning to Court.

Dog-eat-dog tactics
The Division of Property will be based on:

  • How aggressive your solicitor is compared to the other solicitor.
  • The mood the judge is in.
  • Prescribed court schedules.
  • Whether you or your spouse has more stamina for battle.
  • How much money you have to spend on ongoing legal costs.

Fairness and negotiation
Mediators help you negotiate a fair settlement.
A Mediator will not make the decisions, but will help you to voice your concerns in such a way that you can negotiate a win-win settlement.

Time Consuming
Your divorce will follow the timetable determined by the needs of solicitors and the court.

Time Saving
You decide how fast or slow you want the process to go ahead. You can schedule mediation at your convenience.

Non-compliance is more likely

You and/or your spouse may not feel committed to the results be-cause of a lack of participation in the process, bitterness fostered during the proceedings, or lack of fairness in the result.

Life is more likely to go smoothly… Child support, spousal support and parenting plans are more likely to be maintained when mutually decided.

Highly Toxic
Even the most poised, self-assured people can find themselves one of the walking wounded after experiencing the antagonistic debilitating and emotionally draining experience of tearing each other to shreds in court.

You will maintain your dignity. You may still have challenge of negotiations, high emotions and frustration, but you will be far better off working with your spouse to make the best of a bad situation. If you can’t save the marriage, save the divorce!

You remain in the dark and are fed what your solicitor wants you to know
Your solicitor will negotiate property and custody issues for you. You will be advised not to communicate directly with your spouse.

You participate fully
With the help of a neutral mediator, you will problem solve property and custody issues to design an agreement that works for you and your family.

Legal Aid unlikely to be available..

You will not be eligible for legal aid, unless there has been domestic violence or forced marriage.

Legal Aid is available..

The courts save a lot of money when people use Mediation. Legal Aid is available for Mediation both parties, even where only one party qualifies based on income and assets.*

For a consultation to decide whether Mediation is right for you, or to discuss your options please call me!

Download PDF article Mediation in the UK Today by By Sir Henry Brooke, Chairman of the Civil Mediation Council


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