Divorce and Family Mediation Archives - Online Divorce Advice II How to divorce amicably
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Is Your Soon-To-Be-Ex An Idiot?

Is Your Soon-To-Be-Ex An Idiot?

I’m going to bust a divorce myth that makes a mockery of any sane divorce strategy. It’s the one called: “Oh no, my husband/wife won’t use mediation.” Now stay with me, because you’re smart, right? And you don’t want to be making a mistake believing in a myth that could cost you thousands, and many years of strife? There has to be a divorce strategy that will work better than believing in myths?  Let me explain: Your spouse might currently be making mediation impossible – but think...

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How do you mediate divorce with a narcissist?

How do you mediate divorce with a narcissist?

There seems to be an increase in the number of divorcees accusing their spouses as being narcissistic, and it could be that the term is being used more widely because these days, it’s so easy to find a list on the internet of “How to spot if your spouse is a narcissist” – though many of the traits and ‘tell-tale signs” are not that far from behaviour most of us might demonstrate on a bad day! But perhaps the apparent rise in this style of behaviour is a reflection of our times, and the...

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The Big Mistakes Men Make When Divorcing

The Big Mistakes Men Make When Divorcing

What are the key classic errors men often make and how to avoid them   Sussex-based family mediator Julia Warnes offers some guidance for men when divorcing: “I would say the most common mistake is often not obtaining advice at the earliest opportunity and often waiting until the process can be thrust upon them. I am aware that sometimes they might not want to be the bad guy and make the decision that it is the end of the relationship, rather waiting for the decision to be made for them....

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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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Should you only use ‘accredited’ family mediators?

Should you only use ‘accredited’ family mediators?

  An additional accreditation has been brought into force for mediators by the Family Mediation Council – but some solicitor mediators are not applying for the accreditation.  One of those mediators is Nadia Beckett, who explains why: I am not an accredited mediator and having given this matter very careful consideration, I have decided not to become accredited. I am a Family Law Solicitor and I have been practicing family law for over 20 years and mediation for around 8 years...

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The right kind of lawyers

The right kind of lawyers

  A taste of what choices are available to you when dealing with a ‘co-parent’   I find the easiest way to get a good over view of the options open to me, is to watch a short video. So here are some of the experts you will find in CoParenting in a Box talking about ways to deal with divorce, and also post-divorce conflicts over money and child access, and how to break up intelligently when you live with someone and are not legally married. Yep, staying ‘out of...

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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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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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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?

  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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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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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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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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When going to court seems the best way to see your kids

When going to court seems the best way to see your kids

  Despite railing against adversarial divorce in my role as the UK’s Alternative Divorce Guide, the one time that going to court can seem a necessary evil is over disputes regarding contact with the kids.   I have witnessed a father who – with the help of national charity Families Need Fathers – represented himself in court and achieved a defined contact order, which meant his ex-wife could not whisk their child away at will despite previously agreed contact being...

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Adversarial divorce costs £65,000 more than staying out of court

Adversarial divorce costs £65,000 more than staying out of court

Let’s do the maths – and see what is the financial advantage of staying out of the divorce courts: There are better ways to travel this journey that will cost you less is money and stress Conventional Adversarial Package (We DON’T recommend this one) Alternative, stay-out-of-court Package includes Divorce in a Box (We think this is a much better choice)   Sources: Cost of adversarial divorce * Novitas Divorce Litigation Fund ** Cost of collaborative divorce   “...

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A new dance

    Kylie had seen her mum dance at Xmas with her dad and they hadn’t looked any more clumsy or embarrassing than anyone else’s parents.  But now her stepdad had run off with a lap dancer from Leighton Buzzard, and Kylie assumed she would never again have to cringe at her mother in public trying to  wave her arms and wiggle her hips at the same time, just slightly off the beat.  But Kylie was wrong.     “Oww.  Oww ow ow”.  Sally said the words out...

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what is divorce mediation ?

what is divorce mediation ?

Mediation Fact Sheet   Well it’s not the same as ‘meditation’ (sitting quietly and connecting to your inner being) and it’s also nothing to do with ‘getting back together’.  These are common misconceptions so I wanted to get that out of the way first of all. Mediation is not appropriate for people who are in physical or psychological danger by being in the same room as their partner, such as in a serious domestic abuse situation, but just not liking...

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why should I use divorce mediation?

why should I use divorce mediation?

Mediation Fact Sheet:   With a skilled mediator and a bit of co-operation from the couple involved, mediation has some key benefits over using a traditional family lawyer: It can be quicker. No letters going back and forth (and costing you a packet) – you can talk face to face with the support of the mediator.  Mediation usually lasts for between two and five sessions, each of about an hour and a half. However, the time it takes depends on how complicated the issues are. Children...

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divorce mediation resources

  Mediation: Resources   Download a guide on Children and Divorce published by Her Majesty’s Court Service. Download a guide to Divorce published by Her Majesty’s Court Service. I want to get a divorce. Where do I start? published by Her Majesty’s Court Service. I have a decree nisi and / or the respondent has replied to my petition. Download an App for your smartphone.This app from HG Appstore, provides a detailed yet easy to understand step by step guide to the law and the divorce...

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Forcing couples to use divorce mediation?

Well not quite – the new rules coming out in April will make it necessary for divorcing couples seeking legal aid to try mediation before court, and all couples who are unable to sort out their divorce on their own, will be expected to attend mediation consultation sessions at least so they understand how it can help them. I encourage all visitors to Starting Over from divorce Road Shows to talk directly to mediators and to find out what they actually do (some people think they are...

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