Separation and divorce are difficult processes, no matter how amicable they may be. However, when there are disputes between parties that cannot be resolved through direct communication, a mediated divorce may be the best solution. In a mediated divorce, the divorcing parties work with a neutral third party to help them resolve their differences. This process can often be less contentious and more cost-effective than traditional divorce proceedings. In this blog, we’ll talk about the difference between traditional and mediated divorce, why divorce applications are rising and the reason why people are getting a divorce.
The Difference Between Traditional and Mediated Divorce
In a traditional divorce, the couple seeking to dissolve their marriage does so through the court system. This means that they will file for divorce with their local court and then work with their solicitors to come to an agreement on various aspects of their divorce, such as child arrangements and the division of assets including property, savings, investments and pensions. Once they have reached an agreement, they will then present their divorce settlement to a judge, who will review it and determine whether or not to approve it. If the judge approves the settlement, then the divorce will be finalised.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to traditional divorces. One of the biggest drawbacks is that these types of divorces can take a long time to resolve. This is because the entire process must go through the court system, which can be slow-moving. Additionally, traditional divorces tend to be more adversarial in nature, as each spouse will be represented by their own attorneys and will be fighting for what they want out of the divorce settlement. This can often lead to a lot of animosity between the two spouses, which can make it difficult to move on after the divorce is finalised.
Lastly, traditional divorces are expensive. On average a traditional divorce costs £14,561 whereas Mediated divorces on average cost £3,000 including mediation, court fees and legal paperwork.
A mediated divorce is a type of divorce in which the couple seeking to dissolve their marriage does so with the help of a mediator. Mediators are neutral third parties who help facilitate communication between the two spouses and help them come to an agreement on various aspects of their divorce, such as child arrangements, and the division of assets and liabilities. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding that summarises the agreement. This is then taken to a solicitor for a Financial Consent Order, a legally binding agreement for the couple to sign. Once the agreement is signed, it will be presented to a judge, who will review it and determine whether or not to approve it and the grounds of fairness. If the judge approves the settlement, then the divorce will be finalised.
One of the main benefits of a mediated divorce is that it can help couples come to an agreement more quickly than they would in a litigated divorce. This is because the mediator can help facilitate communication between the two spouses and keep things moving along at a steady pace. Additionally, mediated divorces tend to be less expensive than other types of divorces, such as collaborative divorces or litigation. As mentioned before the average cost of a mediated divorce is £3,000 including mediation, court fees and legal paperwork.
One drawback is that mediated divorces still require the participation of both spouses, however in practice both parties do agree to mediate.
Why are Divorce Applications Rising?
The rise in divorce applications is often attributed to the fact that couples are under more pressure than ever before. With the demands of work and family life, it can be difficult to find time for each other. This can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration, which can eventually boil over into arguments and disagreements.
In some cases, this can result in one or both partners feeling like they need a break from the relationship. Often, this is when divorce applications start to rise.
On the 6th of April 2022 the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act came into force which saw the number of divorce applications rise by 22%. What does the new law mean? The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act often known as the no-fault or blame divorce is much more straightforward than the old law. Couples are able to file for divorce or civil partner dissolution without having to place the blame on their partner to prove an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. They can also make joint applications to the courts, suggested both agree to end the marriage amicably.
Between April and June 2022, 33,566 applications were filed and only two in 10 divorce applications were from joint applicants. With the new regime, couples now have to wait up to 20 weeks after the proceedings instead of 56 weeks. The Government said the 20 weeks is a period where the couples can reflect and reconsider their decision.
Reasons Why People Getting Divorced?
Behaviour – One common reason why couples are getting divorced is due to one or both partner behaviour. Any behaviour that causes significant distress to one partner could be grounds for divorce. This includes physical or emotional abuse, neglect and even financial irresponsibility in a marriage
- Adultery – Adultery or an affair is sufficient grounds for divorce in many circumstances. There were some limitations to using an affair as a justification for divorce, prior to the new divorce laws coming into affect. If the couple stayed living together for six months or more of knowing about the affair, then this would not have been considered grounds, in court-mandated separation proceedings.
- Desertion – To abandon a partner without their consent or justifiable reason was considered desertion. This was also grounds for divorce. To get a divorce you must have provided evidence that your significant other has deserted you.
Divorce Mediation – A More Affordable Option
Many couples are opting to save themselves thousands of pounds by choosing divorce mediation. In many cases this can reduce the process to just a few weeks or a few months too. Feel free to contact our highly-trained and experienced family mediators and see how we can help you. Simply call us on 0330 113 0005 or you can request a call back here