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Summer – Difficulties for separated families

BBC Radio Leicester Interview with Collaborative Practitioner and Family Lawyer James Belderbos     Summer and the school summer holidays in particular can bring stress to many families. We are familiar with the pressures that Christmas can bring with families thrown together at Christmas but there are similarities with summer holidays. Sadly like Christmas the aftermath of a family holiday can be too much to bear for some couples who then consider separation. All listeners who are...

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Divorce With Lawyers Who Talk To Each Other: The Collaborative Divorce Process

Divorce With Lawyers Who Talk To Each Other: The Collaborative Divorce Process

  According to the Mirror, lawyers estimate that the average cost of a UK divorce is – in real terms – £70,243 and rising – with the average person losing out on £4,686 of their salary, with an added £5,089 on finding alternative accommodation, £8,926 in legal fees and £51,543 in paying off debt and sharing assets.   Of course, if the divorce starts to get ‘out of hand’ – then legal fees can begin to soar. I spoke recently with a mother who has had to borrow...

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Collaborative Lawyers and High Profile Divorce

Collaborative Lawyers and High Profile Divorce

  I hear a lot of about collaborative lawyers and the good work they do helping couples navigate the complex process of separation and divorce.   Perhaps the collaborative model would be best for Brexit – legal advice to hand, yet ultimately, collaboration and clear communication (rather than game-playing) the order of the day?  And a lot more private too.   Several celebrity couples have gone through a collaborative divorce. Singer and performer Madonna and her former...

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Brynne Edelsten’s ‘brutal’ divorce a lifestyle choice over divorce mediation?

Brynne Edelsten’s ‘brutal’ divorce a lifestyle choice over divorce mediation?

  US-Born Brynne Edelsten described her divorce as “nasty and brutal”, leading her to declare she “would never be friends” with the former Sydney Swans owner as she battled to finalise her financial settlement.  But conflict creates stress – both financial and emotional – which is why divorce mediation could have made Brynne’s experience of divorce very different..     Samantha Jago, Divorce Mediator and Solicitor at RHW Solicitors, believes that the...

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Fixed-Price Mediations – will they become the norm?

Fixed-Price Mediations – will they become the norm?

  “A Serious Lack of Transparency”   This was the conclusion of recent research into the cost of legal services.  Perhaps one of the best ways to help clients manage their finances in the divorce arena, is to offer more fixed-price services.  This has been seen as difficult in the divorce arena, where costs can easily spiral, but Fixed-Fee Mediations are now beginning to be offered by client-focused law firms.   Family Mediator Samantha Jago of RHW Solicitors in...

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Can Arbitration ‘rescue’ a mediation going off the rails?

Can Arbitration ‘rescue’ a mediation going off the rails?

  Rather than throwing your hands up in despair when a series of mediations look ready to collapse, and rail against the inability of the couple to decide on one specific area that they just ‘got stuck on’ – then why not give that couple the opportunity to let an Arbitrator decide for them? Not only do they stay out of court, but they also could continue the mediation process after that sticky patch was dealt with.  Doesn’t that not seem a sensible option? But...

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One of the new kid’s on the block: Arbitrator Nadia Beckett

One of the new kid’s on the block: Arbitrator Nadia Beckett

  Family Arbitration can rescue a mediated divorce from crumbling into a nasty expensive court battle, so should more mediators be paying attention to it as a resource for their clients? Nadia Beckett of Beckett Solicitors LLP explains the many benefits of using arbitration in a family law divorce setting.     Family arbitration could become a powerful new tool in the mediator’s toolbox, as it has done over the pond in the US and Canada.  It saves the client money and the...

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The harsh reality of not getting on well with your Ex

The harsh reality of not getting on well with your Ex

The harsh reality of not getting on well with your Ex and keeping contact with the children post divorce – an interview with family law solicitor John Stebbing of Stephen Rimmer LLP: On many occasions I have seen – a father usually – frustrated that he is not seeing his children as frequently as he should, or in circumstances that he would prefer. There are many reasons why that may or may not be right, but I do suggest that when you think about your contact with the children...

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How do I get to see my kids after separation or divorce?

How do I get to see my kids after separation or divorce?

  “A question I’m often asked is ‘How do I get to see my children?’.   It’s not always a dad asking that question, but it is often.” That’s a really difficult one – because when one parent has been prevented, for whatever reason, whether rightly or (as is often the case) wrongly, it is very emotional and upsetting. It makes that parent who is being prevented from seeing their child, very very angry. The first thing that they usually...

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Keeping flexible when creating a child contact agreement

Keeping flexible when creating a child contact agreement

In this video interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller, with Divorce Mediator John Stebbing of Stephen Rimmer LLP, John explains how creating a contact agreement can be a difficult area. The reason it’s difficult is because children grow – their needs change. You don’t want the couple concerned tied to an arrangement which isn’t in the interests of those children anymore. So, you need to have the right type of wording/paragraph that enables the agreement to...

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Making a Mediation Agreement legally binding

Making a Mediation Agreement legally binding

Something that clients often ask me, is that if you are the parent who isn’t getting contact with the children, then what’s the point of using mediation, since whatever agreement you reach, it is not immediately legally binding? “We can negotiate using mediation, but the other parent can just ignore what was agreed. How do I make sure that this doesn’t happen?” Something that I frequently advise, is that when you use mediation, you can create a parenting plan...

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Champion of Justice Award 2014 – Samantha Jago of RHW Solicitors!

Champion of Justice Award 2014 – Samantha Jago of RHW Solicitors!

One of the winners in 2014 of the Champion of Justice Award was Alternative Divorce Directory Mediator Samantha Jago of RHW Solicitors…..  and a very proud and happy winner she was too, as you can see!   Samantha received her reward for her dedicated service to her local Citizens’ Advice Bureau where she has offered pro-bono legal advice for many years. Because Samantha is an experienced mediator, an added bonus to the people of the Guildford area is that they are receiving...

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3 Tips on how to Divorce more collaboratively

3 Tips on how to Divorce more collaboratively

You don’t need to be friends with your Ex   Most people who are getting a divorce or ending a cohabiting relationship are not the best of friends when they split.  But sometimes the relationship can be very amicable, and that makes the divorce/separation process much less expensive and stressful.  In such cases the collaborative process – where both the couple have a collaboratively trained lawyer to sit with them and give advice, but who engage together with the couple in a...

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Shuttle Mediation during divorce

Shuttle Mediation during divorce

In this interview with Family Mediator Wendy Still, she reveals how even couples who cannot bear to be in the same room as each other, can still access mediation using ‘shuttle mediation’:     “A number of clients are very nervous about mediation, not the process itself, but being in the same room as their former partner/wife/husband, after some time of not seeing them.  There can also be issues of domestic violence which prevent the “normal” type of mediation being...

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Mediator John Stebbing interviewed by Vivienne Smith

Mediator John Stebbing interviewed by Vivienne Smith

John Stebbing of Stephen Rimmer LLP talks about “Divorcing with Style” using mediation, in this podcast interview with Single Mums’ Survival Guide author and transformational coach Vivienne Smith:     Divorce Mediator John Stebbing of Stephen Rimmer LLP, explains why using divorce Mediation instead of the Courts is a wise choice, and illustrates this with a moving tale of a divorcing couple where the father is being denied access to his 3 children.  The children had...

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When your Ex doesn’t want to use mediation to divorce

When your Ex doesn’t want to use mediation to divorce

In this interview with Family Mediator Wendy Still, she reveals how even the most negative divorce mediation clients can discover the powerful benefits of using this particular route through divorce: “Some clients come to mediation, not necessarily because they want to, but rather because their own solicitor has told them “they have to”. Of course, before issuing any application for financial relief or for an Order under the Children Act in private law proceedings, trying mediation first is a...

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Some home truths about Divorce Mediation

Some home truths about Divorce Mediation

Family Mediator Samantha Jago of RHW Solicitors gives us some clear home truths about divorce mediation in this short video interview. Samantha tells us plainly what can happen if a couple just want to have a good old fashioned court battle, and also a reality-check on how mediation works in practice. Some more facts about divorce mediation: Family mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which helps you reach decisions about things that are important for you and your...

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Arbitrators: Part of an Adversarial process – or a Peace process?

Arbitrators: Part of an Adversarial process – or a Peace process?

  There seems to be an assumption amongst even some Mediators and Arbitrators, that a mediation process that is foundering must be inherently one of conflict when a decision can’t be reached. That a couple have to be resolutely disagreeing over an issue as the only reason an arbitrator would be brought in. But sometimes the couple just don’t know the answer; they don’t know what to decide.   Intrinsically adversarial… Not!   I have been told: “Arbitration is...

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Do Cohabitation Agreements and Postnups make your relationship stronger?

Do Cohabitation Agreements and Postnups make your relationship stronger?

I learned more about how to have a healthy relationship with my children’s father through having to co-parent in separate households than I did when we were together.  But there are easier ways to learn those lessons. By accessing the same level of professional and holistic support and guidance that couples benefit from when they take a healthy route through divorce, those of you who are wanting to create a Postnuptial Agreement or a Cohabitation Agreement can make future provisions for...

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Why Cohabitation Agreements are Essential

Why Cohabitation Agreements are Essential

When my 10 year relationship suddenly split and I found myself with three children under 7, without my name on the house deeds, no career or income, and no pension, I felt the full brunt of not having any marriage laws to protect my interests. I was unusual in that I knew I had no legal rights and that Common Law marriage is a myth.  I just never dreamt that my relationship would ever end. I had never heard of ‘Cohabitation Agreements’ – but if my daughter chooses to settle...

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3 Reason why living together is not the same as marriage

3 Reason why living together is not the same as marriage

When I lived for ten years with my children’s father we had three children, and when the relationship abruptly ended, the phrase: “Well it’s the same as being married” – proved to be a lie.  You can tell yourself that while you are together, but don’t be foolish enough to think it’s the same when you are splitting up. You think you’ll get some of his pension?  – Wrong.  You are not eligible for any of it. He has a pension.  I have none.  My career was put aside to look after...

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The Seatbelt of Family Arbitration: a safety measure for divorce?

The Seatbelt of Family Arbitration: a safety measure for divorce?

In this second of a short series of articles, I explore how family arbitration could provide an element of psychological security on the bumpy road of the divorce journey.  I interview a range of family arbitrators about whether Arbitration saves the client money, and whether the arbitrator’s decision is always enforceable by law. As the court system struggles to keep it’s head above the rising fiscal tide, the reduced access to legal aid for court cases and ensuing explosion of DIY...

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Family Arbitration – The White Knight of a tricky divorce ?

Family Arbitration – The White Knight of a tricky divorce ?

Family Arbitration can rescue a mediated divorce from crumbling into a nasty expensive court battle, so should more mediators be paying attention to it as a resource for their clients? In the first of a short series of articles, I explore how family arbitration could become a powerful new tool in the mediator’s toolbox, as it has done over the pond in the US and Canada.  In part two I look at whether it saves the client money and whether the arbitrator’s decision is always...

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Why divorce mediation is better than going to court

Why divorce mediation is better than going to court

  We often hear that Mediation is “better for the children” – but how many people really understand the benefits overall?   In this video interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller, with Divorce Mediator John Stebbing of Stephen Rimmer LLP, John explains why using divorce Mediation instead of the Courts is a wise choice, and illustrates his assertions with a moving tale of a divorcing couple where the father is being denied access to his 3 children.  Below,...

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Gatekeepers to divorce

Gatekeepers to divorce

    If you would like to find out more about how to divorce amicably, please contact Kim Beatson by phone for a no-obligation conversation on 020 7940 4011 or by email at kim.beatson@anthonygold.co.uk.   Kim Beatson: Mediator & Collaborative Lawyer   Find out how to divorce without fighting by clicking here…....

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Cohabiting and Common Law Marriage

Cohabiting and Common Law Marriage

  The Myth of Common Law Marriage   Half of the population thinks that Common Law marriage exists according to social attitude surveys which are published annually.  It is a dangerous misconception.   In this podcast interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller with Collaborative Lawyer Kim Beatson of Anthony Gold Solicitors, Kim explains the harsh reality of not getting married when having a family – if you are to later split up.     “There is no...

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Change the tone of your divorce using Collaborative Law

Change the tone of your divorce using Collaborative Law

Interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller with Collaborative Lawyer Kim Beatson of Anthony Gold Solicitors     “For me, training as a Collaborative practitioner was a natural progression from being already an experienced Mediator. Some couples feel that Mediation is just too overwhelming for them, if they are struggling with the emotional and psychological aspects of divorce and family breakup, and those clients may want some partisan help during the negotiations. ...

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Will Collaborative Law win over Mediation in the end?

Will Collaborative Law win over Mediation in the end?

  Interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller with Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer Kim Beatson of Anthony Gold Solicitors       What is the best way to go through divorce? “I would say to anyone: ‘Here is my options leaflet, giving you the choices of Mediation, Collaborative Law, lawyer-led mediation or the court system. It’s your choice. Think about those options carefully.’”   Why don’t people know more about it? “Mediation awareness...

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Kim Beatson: What many people don’t know about divorce mediation

Kim Beatson: What many people don’t know about divorce mediation

  In this interview with Divorce Mediator Kim Beatson of Anthony Gold Solicitors, Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller asks Kim to share the information about mediation that many of her clients are unaware of when they first contact her for a no-obligation chat.     Why did divorce mediation come about?   “The mediation movement first involved lawyers in the 1980s.  It came out of a desire to offer a range of process options to clients, recognising that some of them were...

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Mediator Kim Beatson tells us why Divorce Mediation can lead to a happier wedding

Mediator Kim Beatson tells us why Divorce Mediation can lead to a happier wedding

Kim Beatson, Mediator at Anthony Gold Solicitors, explains to Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller, how mediation can make the divorce process less agonising, and weddings less strained.   “I attended a wedding a while ago where the atmosphere was tense rather than joyful, because the bride’s parents had divorced ten years previously, and animosity between them still reigned.   Although the divorce rate has stabilized at around 117,000 couples a year – from a marriage rate of...

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