The benefits of mediation over alternative methods of conflict resolution should be seriously considered by divorcing spouses, regardless of how challenging the process may be for them. Even while reaching a conclusion that is acceptable to all parties might be challenging at times, there are many circumstances in which doing so is advantageous.

During the COVID-19 epidemic and the different lockdowns, there has been a significant increase in the rates of divorce. This may not come as a surprise to you. It was only natural that such an event would result in the dissolution of many relationships given the fact that many couples were compelled to spend more time together in the confined spaces of their home. Couples also had to deal with additional stresses, such as limitations on their ability to care for their children and financial concerns. divorce case mediation

In 2019, the divorce rate was estimated to be at 7.5 percent; however, data collected nine months into 2020 revealed that the rate had increased to nearly 33.3 percent. One law business in the United Kingdom decided to keep tabs on how much the number of queries they received grew throughout the pandemic and the various lockdowns. Between July and October of 2020, the law firm recorded a 122 percent rise in the number of enquiries they received.

One thing stays constant in spite of these challenging and unusual conditions, and that is the fact that you should always search for a peaceful conclusion to the problem with your relationship. Even if the epidemic has caused greater instability and emotional upheaval, mediation is still the most effective approach to handle the dissolution of a marriage.

What exactly is mediation?

There is one stage of the divorce process that nobody looks forward to, and that is the formal separation. It does not matter how glad or unhappy a person is to be obtaining a divorce; this stage is the same for everyone. It is a difficult period for everyone concerned, and the anxiety of following through with a divorce is increased by the notion of signing off on paperwork, going via intermediaries, and finally making appearances in court, which are both feared and expensive.

This is where different forms of conflict resolution come into play. In order to properly manage a divorce and avoid having to go through drawn-out court hearings, these are the steps that may be undertaken. Even though there are a lot of other methods for resolving conflicts outside of court, mediation is the one that should always be tried first.

In this stage of the process, you and your spouse will have a direct conversation with a skilled and neutral mediator who will work to assist the two of you in reaching an agreement that is agreeable to both of you. It is even possible for it to take place while both partners are located in separate rooms. The mediator will engage in conversation with the two of you in order to gain an understanding of both of your points of view, the priorities that are most important to you personally, any misunderstandings or issues that may occur, and potential solutions.

The mediator’s role is not to instruct you on what to do; rather, their role is to facilitate an agreement and to function as someone who can bridge the difference between you and your spouse. It is not the mediator’s responsibility to advise either of you what to do. However, it is essential to keep in mind that they will not intervene in order to look out for the interests of any of the parties involved. You have the option of hiring a consulting attorney to assist you in the event that you would want someone who will think through the effects that this decision will have on your life.
Here are the five most important reasons why you should participate in mediation:

When it comes to settling a divorce, mediation is the go-to technique for a variety of reasons; nevertheless, there are several factors that stand out above others and are the most compelling arguments in favour of this strategy. We have produced a list of the top five reasons why you should choose mediation as the next step after deciding to end your relationship with your spouse.

1. It requires less effort and less money overall.

When compared to alternative methods of settling a divorce case, such as collaborative divorce and litigation, the expense of mediating a divorce case is significantly lower, both monetarily and in terms of the amount of time it takes. At this time, the filing fee for a divorce petition in court is £550, and the hourly rate for an attorney to represent you in court might be roughly £300. And even before you get to court, you might be spending as much as £100 each letter in the prolonged interactions between you and your partner’s attorneys. This could happen even before you go to court.

Not only that, but you also need to think about how much money it will cost you to live after the divorce, which is especially important if you have children. Before you’ve ever stepped foot inside of a courtroom, you may already have piled up thousands of pounds’ worth of costs, and that’s after all has been said and done! On the other hand, if you choose the route of mediation, you won’t have to worry as much about expenses getting out of hand because you’ll either be charged by the hour or a fixed amount.

In terms of length of time, the duration of legal processes might range anywhere from a few months to many years, depending on the timetable. There was already a backlog prior to the COVID-19 epidemic, but now things are getting even worse because of the limitations that have been put in place as a result of the pandemic. However, mediation is a reasonably short process that may be finished in a matter of weeks or, at worst, months – often between two and fewer than ten sessions.

2. You have more control

There is nothing more distressing than having the impression that you do not have command of the way things are progressing. Sadly, this is the situation for a large number of married couples who are going through the agonising process of divorce procedures in court. The mediation process, on the other hand, will allow you to have a greater say in the matter while reducing the amount of interaction you have to have with rules or judges who do not completely comprehend or empathise with your circumstance.

A mediator’s role is not to instruct either party on how to proceed. The role of the mediator is primarily to act as a guide, to understand the priorities and needs of both parties, and to assist you in reaching a satisfactory compromise when one is required. In order to wrap things up, the mediator will draught a Memorandum of Understanding in addition to an Open Statement of Financial Information. The former document explains the outcomes and the agreements made by both parties, while the latter document is intended to allow the courts to issue a pecuniary order.

3. Decreased levels of hostility and tension

The potential for strained relationships not just between the divorcing spouse but also between the couple’s children and extended family members is one of the most dreaded outcomes that might result from a divorce. Because mediators have received training in counselling and are able to respect the sentiments of both sides, mediation significantly lessens the strain that would be caused by going to court.

After the divorce has been finalised, this strategy leaves the door open for the former couple to have the opportunity to continue their relationship. If there are children involved in the divorce, the importance of this cannot be overstated. It is crucial since parenting responsibilities will continue beyond the split, and this guarantees your children receive the best life possible. Not only does it set a good example, but it is also important because it ensures your children get the greatest life possible. The mediator will be there to help explain topics, such as who is responsible for the children during school holidays and weekends, in a way that is completely understandable to all sides of the dispute.

A mediator’s primary responsibility is to ensure that there are no misunderstandings and that no single party will take control of the situation. They will encourage you to consider things through, think with greater empathy, minimise any debate, and provide criticism when it is required of you. As opposed to legal proceedings, there is no requirement for there to be a “winner” and a “loser.”

4. There is no record available to the public

Mediation provides the finest opportunity for confidentiality for those individuals who prefer to keep matters to themselves. Things are not disclosed to the public and are not part of the official record in any way. If you go with an experienced mediator, you can relax knowing that they will have handled hundreds of cases in an anonymous capacity. This means that you won’t have to worry about the details of the situation being shared with anybody other than your spouse and the mediator.

No one will be any wiser as a result of this, despite the fact that there may be arguments or unexpected yelling battles. Your mediator will be governed by the code of conduct and standards of the Family Mediation Council, which ensure that all information pertaining to the mediation is destroyed upon its conclusion when the mediation has been completed. The only information that is kept is extremely fundamental, and this is done so to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act as well as any other applicable laws.

5. You can always choose to take your case to court.

It is important to realise that even if the mediation process is unsuccessful, you still have the ability to pursue the matter in court. Since it has already been established that mediation is a secret procedure, mediators cannot be questioned about the specifics of the mediation by a third party under any circumstances. The only thing that will make this rule an exemption are any formal agreements that have been signed as well as any financial declarations.

In the process of getting a divorce, mediation ought to always come first and, in almost all instances, be the final stage.