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For many people going through a relationship breakdown and then having to sort out the finances or arrangements for the children with the person they are estranged from, can be difficult. If there has been controlling, coercive behaviour, emotional and or physical abuse in the relationship dealing with the emotional fallout, keeping safe and recovery for yourself and the family are probably your top priorities.
Financial and housing security are important and for couples in civil partnerships or marriages for any financial arrangement to be binding and final it has to be approved by the court.
Mediation has helped an increasing number of couples to reach an agreement about their finances and the arrangements for the children, without the trauma and costs of court proceedings. A family mediator will enable a couple to discuss and agree on issues in a safe and constructive way. Their agreement about financial matters can then be made into a financial consent order which is binding and provides certainty and security for both, while arrangements for children can be agreed or made into a parenting plan
Traditionally, mediation involved a couple having a series of meetings with their mediator. As these meetings were in-person family mediators use stringent safeguarding measures to ensure the physical, emotional safety and wellbeing of their mediation clients. Fast-forward to the onset of the covid restrictions and mediation having to adapt to being online which seems likely to continue. Mediators stringent safeguarding still applies – behaviour can still have an impact online but for many mediation clients not being in the same physical space has made mediation more convenient, comfortable and productive.
Mediation is voluntary. Understandably even online mediation, with safety provisions in place, is not a process someone who has been subjected to physical or emotional abuse may feel comfortable with.
So, for some, they delay or even forgo sorting out financial claims and the security of a financial court order. Others may feel that litigating is the only option as that process is carried out at arm’s length and with the support of your own solicitor to provide advice reassurance and support.
Step forward Hybrid Mediation.
Hybrid Mediation is the new way for couples following a break-up to sort out issues.
It’s well-named, using the tested mediation process to resolve commercial and diplomatic disputes with the addition of a mix of all the good elements of litigating, traditional mediation and solicitor negotiations but without their disadvantages.
Mediation isn’t for everyone but don’t rule it out.
If you are considering Hybrid Mediation if your relationship has broken down please contact us to discuss your own unique situation. It may provide you with the most constructive and cost-effective way to resolve financial and family problems.