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Who do you turn to?

I was interested to read this article in The Guardian by Emine Saner (23.08.16)*:

“The end of the summer holiday is a peak period for break ups. But now couples are looking for fast and amicable ways to avoid being mired in the blame game, will the law finally catch up?

There is a private members’ bill to introduce a “no fault” divorce, and Baroness Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court, called for it to be introduced

Football presenter Gary Lineker, whose marriage to his second wife has recently ended, took issue with divorce lawyers. “It’s very easy to get married and very difficult to get divorced,” he said. “And we know that lawyers try to manipulate it to make you spend more money and basically end up hating each other.”

More and more people are choosing to represent themselves. According to a recent survey, around 40% of people no longer use lawyers in their divorces. For all Lineker’s talk of greedy lawyers, this isn’t to be considered a positive development, as it mostly comes on the back of legal aid cuts.

“People who represent themselves in divorce cases may not “get the outcomes they might expect or deserve,” says Emma Pearmaine, director of family services at Simpson Millar. It can also slow proceedings down. “[Divorce] is a horrid thing to be experiencing and we need to come to a conclusion as quickly as we can to the benefit of the whole family,” she says.

The consequence of legal aid cuts and people representing themselves is, she says, “affecting a whole generation of children. Previously a parent on a low income might have been eligible to go to court so they can see their child. Now if they’re not eligible, they might have to make an application themselves or they don’t make an application at all. That suggests to me that we have a whole generation of children who are not having the right relationship with both parents.”

What’s the solution?

As an accredited family mediator I would urge all divorcing and separating couples to look to mediation first.

A much faster much more cost effective way of working, it is a collaborative process that keeps couples talking through the difficult stuff because when you’re talking about separating a family don’t you want to find the least adversarial, quickest and cheapest way?

Accredited by the Family Mediation Council to conduct property and finance and child arrangement mediations, I am also authorised to consult directly with children, giving children a voice in the process and informing parents’ decisions.

Mediation is what I do. It’s all I do. Please call me. You and your family may be glad you did.

*To read the full article go to :

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