For various reasons. Perhaps emotions, perhaps costs, I decided not to go down the mediation route with my ex wife.
I wished to just have my Ex's solicitor write to me and negotiate a settlement this way.
My ex solicitor has now twice threatened court action, once to my ex wife and once to me in writing in repsect disclosure of my financial details. I find this intimidating and beginning to wonder if this is the best route. We are trying to keep it amicable, but I'm finding the solicitor is aggravating an already fragile situation. I have not been unreasonable in providing finances, I have been awaiting pension details.
When my ex wife phones up to say her sol has threatened to go through courts it irks me. I feel like given the open chequebook provided by legal aid, that perhaps their own interest is being put first.
I believe we should try mediation again as a lot of water has gone under the bridge now, and we probably could sit in the same room now we have clearer visions for our futures. Should I ask my wife if she wishes this? Can I force this? Can I request her solicitor advises her I wish to try again at mediation? What is the way I could go about it?
Does anyone have experience of negotiation with solicitors? I have no representation and am mostly self researching. I hear much about court appearances and this is beginning to sound daunting. Maybe I had too simplistic view of things, my wife and I would come to an arrangement and settle it without mediation but with her solictor. However, I believe I may be making a vast error given the nature of her sol's corresponadnce to date.
Separation is a honeymoon until solicitors get involved....then its a horror affair!
Sorry but that is my experience and naturally impacts on my views.
If you and your wife can get through without sols.....I would definitely consider that route....I often think I am divorcing my x's sol due to his conduct!!!
mediation is always worth a shot and I would write to her sol and formally suggest it. However, the point about mediation is that both parties want it and are prepared to compromise to find agreement that works for everyone so it can't be forced.
We successfully negotiated our agreement through sols, but we each had our own lawyer. Apart from legal advice the advantage was using sols allowed me to stand back a good deal. That's not to say there wasn't any posturing, my ex wanted 100% of the assets and his sol was duty bound to represent that position, but I found it helpful to focus on the points/problems and a response whilst ignoring the rest.
I'd suggest writing formally to sol and providing the financial details you have and explain you are waiting for the details of your pension.
mediation is a sensible option and will work so long as you are both prepared to try it. There are two huge incentives for trying it: you are able to discuss and in most cases agree how things are to be arranged between you; and the cost. As far as the former is concerned the family law system in the UK, like all other aspects of the legal system, is adversarial: you need to beat your opponent to win. Mediation offers the opportunity for exploration of options, compromise and agreement without the need for winners and losers. And if you needed another reason, compare the costs. Contested divorce proceedings can easily run up legal of bills of £10,000 or more. A mediated agreement with us is more likely to cost £1,000 between you - and, as you say, there is public funding available if you qualify.
Is it worth trying now? So long as you can get your ex to agree, definitely. There is nothing to lose, and possibly lots of benefit. If you are looking for a mediation service near you, go the National Family Mediation website where you can find a list of local offices - including ours, just in case there is any doubt!
My experience with mediation is that the timing and approach are everything - ripeness is all.
I opted early on- just after petitioning - to try to get us into mediation but apart from me trying to sell it to him - my solicitor said she would organize it - all he received was a letter from an independent solicitor offering a solo appointment to discuss mediation and a lot of generic info.He failed to turn up and later said he wasn't willing to try mediation. Later -after a year of Form this and Form that and adjournments - practically at the door of the FDR - he said he would like to try mediation - my solicitor said it was just another time wasting ploy and at that point I was so angry about it all and that he hadn't helped us both to get out of the misery we were in - I refused. Worst mistake ever - it might have been a ploy but I still had the FDR option if it was only that - but I think it took him that long to see the light.The pressure of the FDR suited him a lot better than me - it played to his skills and I was too emotional to think straight.
I really think now that mediation - maybe a sample two sessions - should be built in to the Ancillary Relief process - maybe after form E and questionnaires - just a taster to look at options so that when the time is right it's not an unknown quantity?
If your wife will agree to mediation then go for it. The sols are trained attack dogs who are professionals at getting everybody worked up and ready to spend their money. No body benefits except the sols.
Plus, it shows a little maturity on you'rs and your wife's part. I have seen some "mature" people fighting like kids (including myself) and if you can get it right i'd suggest it to anyone.
Its never too late to go for mediation - put it to yr wife and see what she thinks. Its alot less aggressive; less formal; but its focussed and gets the job done. You can also say things that need to be said and above all its way cheaper. The courts love it and if enough people use it hopefully we can get rid of sols in the majority of these cases. Sols are needed in some situations particularly where things are complicated and we are talking about businesses; kids with complex needs etc etc but in the majority of the cases on these boards - the problems are emotional and the circumstances are basic to the principles - all that sols means is you pay much more to get the same thing done and end up disliking each other even more because of the mud slinging. Suggest it to her direct if you still have communication and give her yr reasons for wanting to give it a go. It definately cant hurt. - Rasher