There is still some mystery surrounding mediation, both amongst people who might attend mediation, and amongst some solicitors who refer clients to mediation. In the first of a series of blogs examining what happens in mediation we are looking today at exploring options. When somebody first makes an enquiry about mediation they may have some idea that mediation is… Read More »
When couples embark upon mediation they are ultimately looking for a resolution. They want to be able to find a set of arrangements that will enable each of them to move on. It sounds like a fairly simple objective when you put it like that. However, even deciding on the first thing to talk about, and what the priorities are… Read More »
Many people may first decide to seek out a mediator because their solicitor has suggested mediation. Or they may have read about mediation online, or been recommended to it by a friend. They may have a general idea about what mediation involves. For many people the first question is how do I get into mediation, or how do we start… Read More »
A separation or a divorce is never just a legal or a financial process. It is an emotional and personal journey that has been often likened to a bereavement. When you start in mediation the mediator will explain that other experts may be useful to empower and motivate you to find your tailor made resolution. The experts can be people… Read More »
When a couple decide to separate there can be a huge range of emotions that each has to deal with following that separation. When the couple start mediation this can make it difficult to hear each other. How often has somebody started a sentence with something that incenses you so much that you don’t listen to the next bit they… Read More »
It can seem hugely daunting when you first take steps to look at what will happen following a separation or a divorce (or you may only be thinking of separating from your partner or spouse). There is now a wealth of information on the internet on this subject which varies in its level of accuracy and helpfulness. Much of… Read More »
The Family Law Protocol requires all solicitors advising clients about family law to go through their complete list of options with them – even if they don’t offer some of the options as a firm. All clients seeking advice about a family law dispute should therefore have at least a basic understanding of mediation. But often that is all it… Read More »
From today various changes in family law are coming in to force. There has already been a great deal of change in recent times in family law with the removal of legal aid for most family matters – although it is important to note that legal aid is still widely available for mediation to resolve family matters. The main three… Read More »
For some people there can be a definite understanding that their marriage is over. They may discover something and feel they can no longer trust their spouse, or they may simply know it is time to turn a new page. For others it is not so clear cut. There may be arguments. There may be a breakdown in communication. There… Read More »
How often have you heard the phrase “my head says this but my heart says that”. Or people talking about whether they make decisions with their head or their heart. They usually mean that they are either an emotion or instinct led decision maker, or more about the facts and the analysis. Sometimes people are a bit of both, or… Read More »
How often have you heard the phrase “my head says this but my heart says that”. Or people talking about whether they make decisions with their head or their heart. They usually mean that they are either an emotion or instinct led decision maker, or more about the facts and the analysis. Sometimes people are a bit of both, or sometimes they make decisions differently depending on what the decision is about e.g making decisions about work on the basis of a factual analysis, whilst they make decisions about relationships on a more emotional or instinctive basis. There is usually no right or wrong way to make decisions.
There can of course be decisions that panned out well, and decisions that turn out to not have served us well. If a person finds themselves continually making poor decisions then they may need to revisit what led them to make those decisions.
In mediation you can find that one party makes decisions based on their instincts, whilst another prefers an analysis of all the facts. The fact that decisions were made in different ways can be a source of tension with each person taking the view that the other’s decision making process was flawed. This is where reality testing in mediation can be useful.
There is usually a preferred outcome for each party in mediation and the first options to consider are usually each person’s best options. We then use the flip chart to work through the financial reality of each option. For example, if one option is for party A to remain in the house then we look at what outgoings there will be and what income they receive. Is their income sufficient to pay all the bills? If not does party B have more income than they need and could they help out? Alternatively, an option may be to sell the house and to buy a cheaper house. Again they need to work through both parties’ outgoings and income to see if they can make ends meet. They also need to factor in the costs of the move to see how those costs will be met. All this can be done on the flip chart for both parties to see.
Sometimes one option may offer a clear financial advantage. Sometimes both may be possible, in which case other factors may come into play such as which option would see the least upheaval for the children? Or which option will enable both parties to take advantage of the most support from family and friends. In some cases neither option will be possible – despite the decisions each party had made. In that case the couple will need to look at more options to find one that will offer a solution.
It is this exploring of options, coupled with the reality checking, that enables couples to find their own tailor made resolution – regardless of the basis upon which they each make decisions.
If you think we can help you find your own tailor made resolution then please get in touch.' displayText='ShareThis'>