mediation worked for me and my ex. I think we were lucky that our medidator was very good, he was a retired solicitor so had a lot of knowledge but also was impartial.
Even with a good mediator you still need to have both parties prepared to compromise. In our mediation there were a couple of times where it nearly broke down but the mediator verbally banged our heads together and we were able to reach an agreement.
I have heard of other stories where it hasn't worked, sometimes down the mediator not being seen as being impartial and sometimes because one or both aprties won't budge.
Attitude is important if you both are open and honest and hope to settle without court the chances of success are good, if one or both are less than honest or not prepared to give and take mediation can fail.
These days it is not uncommon to find solicitor mediators who are experienced and qualified in family law or as IGB had a retired solicitor, not to say that none legal mediators don`t do a good job many do.
Cost is also worth mentioning, if you have a mediator charging say £150 per hour it is much cheaper than you both having solicitors charging you each more.
Mediators use round table meetings to talk it through and guide you both to a conclusion solicitors litigate sending letters ect.
So if you can both talk and be open its well worth a try, even if it fails you will both have some idea what a fair settlement would be.
Court based Ancillary Relief proceedings fought to a final hearing can cost 20k some even more, a sobering thought me thinks.
thanks IGB - we're now at a point I think where we're completely shouted out and all we want to do is get this sorted fairly for all - so sitting around a table with a mediator seems the best option - just hope we get a good one. thanks again
H i I found mediation extemely difficult. mainly because i got so upset talking about divorce while my husband sat there stony faced throughout.
it did give us the chance to talk but i felt the mediator just wanted everything all done and dusted so no i didnt find it very helpfull. We had 5 sessions and then it has now gone to solicitors as we didnt really agree to anything just went round in circles.
It all depends on your attitude and that or the other person.
In my case, mediation so far has been an Absolute waste of time.
My ex put in a court complaint against the first mediator claiming I had been allows to intimidate her (what really happened is that I "dared" disagree with her; even the Judge said he found it extremely unusual that an experienced and respected mediator would allow any sort of intimidation).
We then went to a different mediator, recommended by my ex's lawyers.
Sadly, both appointments have been all about my ex's agenda, problems, etc and she ended up totally ignoring the agreements reached.
The last straw was when she agreed to give me a bank holiday (the Judge had said we were to share all holidays equally, but so far she has also ignored this direction)but then reneged on the day. I had to postpone further appointments.
In a nutshell, if you both want to mediate it can be very useful. If one of you wants to use mediation as a cheap way to railroad then, forget it, unless you are the submissive type, in which case you should stay well away from mediation unless you feel your prospects in court are worse.
It would be nice to think that 2 adults could dialogue amicable. Unfortunately, this often doesn't happen. There has to be goodwill, flexibility and compromise.