Divorce is a legal term; it is the dissolution of a marriage. However, there are other associations with the term ‘divorce’ which can bring fear, sadness, anger, and hope. What does a divorce mean to you? Family Mediation in Bristol will help you take control of life after divorce. 

A divorce brings change in your life and if you want to control the outcome and focus on having a good divorce, I recommend you choose a process which encourages you to keep talking and avoid blaming. There are options out there: using a divorce mediator, a collaborative lawyer, a family consultant or a family therapist.

In mediation I work with couples and help them to make decisions about their future. If you haven’t been separated for more than two years, the law currently requires one spouse to blame the other for the ending of a marriage in the divorce petition. This is where the blame can end as sorting out the financial and living arrangements after a separation is the focus.

There is still a misconception from the public about what family mediation involves. When I have mentioned mediation to prospective clients, a common response is “I don’t want to get back with my ex”. Mediation is not a form of couples counselling, instead it focuses on the practicalities of separation now and in the future.

In mediation I think with couples about what their future looks like as two separate families. This can be a painful reality and it takes time to work this through especially if the decision to divorce comes as a shock. I help you to communicate and translate some of the legal jargon you face. I cannot give you advice or tell you what to do. I can guide you both through the legal process, provide options and other perspectives based on my years working as a solicitor and a mediator.

There is no right answer or outcome; you are balancing your needs, your spouse and your children’s needs. The reality of separation facing divorcing couples is that you will need to adapt as you are creating two homes and two families from one ‘pot’ of money. If you wish to preserve your savings as much as possible then I recommend you seek legal advice from a solicitor who is committed to helping you resolve matters as constructively as possible. You can find local solicitors on the Resolution website.

There are many reasons why legal fees escalate and while some of these are valid, often the to-ing and fro-ing of legal correspondence can be avoided if you resist blaming and try to keep talking directly. Making unilateral decisions and not consulting your spouse during a divorce can lead to more mistrust and ill-feeling and it will likely prolong the process and could end up in the family court.

The benefit of working with a mediator is that it helps you both to preserve your assets as much as possible, your relationship as co-parents and is child focused. A parenting plan can help you both to decide how to make decisions about your children together, set boundaries and your expectations from each other.

If you are interested in working with me online or in person, then feel free to email me at kate@lovegrovemediation.uk or fill in the contact form here.