We’ve separated. How long before we can sort everything out?
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 it focusses on next steps and how to resolve financial issues rather than looking at whether both people are ready to take this step.
Here at LKW Family Mediation we believe the first step is really to decide whether your marriage or relationship is really at an end. This is a difficult decision to make and may require counselling to come to terms with. It is also not unusual for one person to reach this point before the other person – in some circumstances a considerable time before the other one.
It may be difficult to focus on legal or financial issues if one person has not yet come to terms with the breakdown of the relationship. It can take time and one person may have been contemplating this for some time meaning they have been travelling the path for far longer. For the other person it may be a huge shock when they are told that their partner or spouse wants to separate. They may not have had any inkling that anything was wrong.
This can lead to one person feeling frustrated that things are not moving on. They may feel they are being helpful in providing financial information and details of solicitors. But if the other person is still reeling from the bombshell of separation then they may simply have no capacity to be able to process financial or legal information. Sometimes the most important thing they will need is time, and maybe counselling.
How ready each person feels to move forward with making arrangements is something we will examine in our initial meeting. Mediation requires co-operation and collaboration with the other person and therefore a capacity to do this. Just because someone is not ready for mediation now, it doesn’t mean they won’t be. It may just be a little patience is required.