Choosing the right approach is crucial for getting the best outcome, Claire Blackmore shares her expertise on how to make that happen
Divorce is not a life event that people set out to achieve. Even for those people who instigate the divorce, it is by no means an easy decision. Everyone's situation is unique. This means that what's fair for one couple and best for their children (if they have any) will be different to that of another family. But if you aspire to have a good divorce here are areas to look out for:
When I first qualified (too many years ago now to mention), mediation for family matters was rarely used. The standard practice was to issue divorce and financial proceedings and whilst there was a stated aspiration to resolve matters without going to court, often court proceedings were necessary. Over time, however, new practices such as collaborative law, arbitration, neutral evaluations and different mediation models have emerged. This is certainly beneficial to those going through a divorce, because it gives people choices, but challenges remain.
One of the challenges is misconceptions about some of the methods. Some people believe that mediation is only suitable for those people who are largely agreed or amicable. That's really not the case.
Another unfortunate consequence of the emergence of having options is that they tend to be practiced in silos, which means that if people use one model, but it doesn't work, they came out of that model and into another. It was a combination of seeing the benefits and challenges of dispute resolution services that made me realise that we needed to practice differently if we are to help people not only get the best outcome but get through the divorce in the best way for them.
Discussing your aims
I talk to my clients about their aims and we create a plan of how to get there. It gives them control and choice by giving them joined up services that can be flexible for what they need.
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