When I made the sad decision that my marriage was over, I was terrified about how my ex and I were going to sort stuff out. I knew we’d have to talk about the kids, and where we would both live and who would get what in terms of savings, pensions, and financial support so I thought mediation would be the best way forward. What scared me, however, was how I was going to hold my own in mediation with a man who negotiated for a living.
I understand now, having talked to thousands of divorcing couples through my work at amicable, that this is a common fear. Mediation works well when the playing field is level and the agreement you are coming to fits squarely in the middle of what the courts find acceptable. But there are some downsides to mediation, and this is evident by the falling numbers of people using it to sort out their finances in a divorce.
We set up amicable to bring together the best bits of mediation but add a level of intervention and advice that mediation often lacks. In our negotiation service, you work with a sensible, pragmatic person (your divorce coach) who is trained in what the law says and who offers negotiation support to help you apply the law to your circumstances. We won’t take sides, but neither will we leave it up to you to navigate unchartered territory. Here’s a summary of how amicable negotiation and mediation differ.
|You work together as a couple||Yes||Yes|
|You stay in control of the process||Yes||Yes|
|You have someone to say what’s fair and what’s not as well as what’s legal||Yes – we will give you a pragmatic view and explain what’s legal as well as why legal advice to each of you may differ||No – mediation is a facilitation where YOU decide what is right for you|
|You have access to support & guidance outside of the meetings||Yes||No – mediation takes place in a series of three-way meetings. On-going support is not included|
|You can meet individually with your coach/mediator||Yes – if you need to speak to your divorce coach on your own you can do so – we will talk to you about the rules around confidentiality|
No – mediation usually takes place with you both in one room.
In some cases, shuttle mediation can be done if it's not safe for you to be in the same room
|You can do a MIAM (necessary if you need to ask the court to resolve issues that you cannot agree on)||No. You will need to find a specially trained mediator or use the amicable arbitration service to resolve your impasse||Yes – if you wish to make an application to court because mediation has broken down a specially trained mediator will complete a MIAM|
|You can do the whole divorce process including writing up legal documents in one place||Yes – amicable is a one-stop-shop. We write up your agreement and draft your legal documents||No – you’ll need a lawyer to review and write up your agreements|
|Prices are fixed with no hidden costs||Yes – we offer a fixed price service that you can split into instalments and legal drafting costs are included. Our premium service is unlimited, meaning you can have as many meetings as you need to get things sorted||No – you will pay per meeting and process are rarely fixed fee. You will need to ask a solicitor to review your agreement and turn it into a legally binding financial order at an extra cost|
If you’d like to find out more about which service is right for you we offer one-hour coaching sessions to help you decide your separation options.
If you have any questions, or would like some support, please book a free 15-minute call with one of our experts here.
In this epsiode #34 of The Divorce Podcast we are joined by Anthony Syder, a mediator turned Divorce Coach and Rebecca Jones, a divorce lawyer turned Divorce Coach who explain the key differences between each route. Listen here: