Separation is one the toughest decisions you’ll ever make. Mediation encourages you and your partner to agree the next steps and puts you in control of your future in a way the courts alone cannot do.
In over 25 years as a charity, encouraging couples to separate as amicably as possible especially for the children’s sake, we have never seen professional mediation in such high demand as today. The Coronavirus has driven a 42% rise in divorce enquiries while the family court backlog has increased judicial emphasis on mediation as an alternative to litigation.
We help at least 500 separating couples every year, many on legal aid. Today, we can do that online around your schedule, together or separately. However it’s done, all of our clients face similarly difficult questions about children, property and finance.
Penny and David: Difficult issues to resolve
When Penny and David’s 12-year marriage acrimoniously fell apart, David moved out leaving Penny and their three children – all aged under 10 – in the family home. When they came to us, they had to decide on two key issues. First, how and when would David see the children? Second, how could they stretch their finances over two separate households to keep the children in situ and at the same schools?
Navigating mutually acceptable solutions to those questions is hard when you are in an emotional or adversarial position. This is why an independent mediator provides calm, non-judgemental and confidential facilitation of those essential conversations. Our mediation with Penny and David gave them the neutral ‘sounding board’ to begin to understand each other better and come to agree the solutions to their issues.
Best practice is for our mediators to write up a couple’s agreements to which they will, we hope, fully commit. While this is not itself legally binding, Penny and David’s document was reviewed by their solicitors and formed the basis of an agreement in court during the divorce proceedings. In this way, our expertise helps you visualise a new future and make it a practical reality.
Penny said: “I was so grateful to have a mediator who listened to my story and accepted what I said. Mediation hasn’t always been easy but it has been quicker and cheaper than doing it all through the court."
Find out more about Mediation MK here.
Mediation MK is one of MKFM's partners and a registered local charity.