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90 seconds with Caroline Mills on… Mediation, Collaboration, Negotiation or Court?

There are various options when contemplating divorce and a financial settlement.

I want to get divorced, what next?

Which process is best for you will depend on the particular circumstances of your case and largely on your relationship with your spouse and to what extent you can work together to find a solution acceptable to you both. You should take early legal advice on which process is best for you.

What is Mediation and how is it different from Collaborative Law?

Mediation is a form of Dispute Resolution (DR) where a professionally trained, impartial mediator assists both parties to reach an agreement together. With the collaborative process (another form of DR), both parties appoint their own collaboratively trained solicitor who is present for support and advice at each meeting. All the parties then meet in a series of 4 way, face to face meetings with a view to reaching a settlement.

Can my solicitor just come to a deal with my spouse’s solicitor?

It is possible for solicitors to negotiate a financial settlement. Solicitors will need to see financial disclosure from both parties to be able to advise their clients on what a reasonable settlement might be. Negotiations can take place in correspondence or at a round table meeting.

Can we just sort out the finances ourselves?

Yes, although you should ask a solicitor to submit a “consent order” formalising your agreement to the court so that it becomes legally binding.

What about going to court?

It is open to either party to make an application to the court, although this should be a last resort as it can be costly, time consuming and create further animosity. The court has a wide discretion and it can be difficult to predict what a court will order.

This article was written by Caroline Mills

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters.

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