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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Is it okay to discuss personal issues too?

  • HelpMePlease
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14 Mar 09 #98745 by HelpMePlease
Topic started by HelpMePlease
My husband has just been to mediation (by himself). Should I now wait for the results of that session, before arranging my own? Basically, will the outcome be kept "secret" or will it be forwarded to my solicitor? So far, my husband has not been willing to discuss ANY aspect of this divorce. I don't feel confident about going to mediation without having the faintest idea of what my husband's intentions may or may not be.

I told my husband I definitely wanted to have some personal closure on our situation too. He said that mediation was not to sort out my feelings, it's simply to finalise legal and contact issues. Is this true? Surely it's a good opportunity to have a full understanding of why a divorce is going ahead? Do people really just stick to facts and keep a distance emotionally?

I do not know how the husband I adored (until not so long ago) and who seemingly adored me in return can treat me this way. There doesn't seem to be any explanation or apology coming to me - even though he's "abandonned" me with 3 children, a baby on the way, and massive debts. I even suggested he brought his new partner along but he didn't think that would be appropriate. (But then again, he doesn't think it's appropriate for him to show any interest in the pregnancy of his latest child - despite admitting he'll eventually be insisting on the same amount of contact as our other children. I cannot believe I married such a bad/mad man, but I did.

Do people just shrug off this kind of experience and say, "Oh well, my husband led a double life and was really nothing more than a total stranger, despite the fact that I loved him?" If so, that's going to be hard for me.

  • Bobbinalong
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14 Mar 09 #98747 by Bobbinalong
Reply from Bobbinalong
helpme please.
i know exactly how you feel from the male perspective.
mediation really is purely about facts, forget about feelings.
If he has had is own session it is very likely you will have yours. FORGET about feelings, its hard but the mediator will not let you discuss such matters, it will be about sorting the issues for the future, i know how you feel and i was in a similar position, but you have to take onboard what this is about.
You should have your own session so that the red tape can be explained to you, after this you will get more of an idea.
i hope you do well.

and yes, people do shrug off this kind of experience and say, my wife was a person i did not know.

  • rosiegirl
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14 Mar 09 #98749 by rosiegirl
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We used mediation in our divorce. My understanding is that mediation is purely to help a couple come to an agreement on the financial split and child arrangements and that you would normally attend mediation together.. although at the end we were in separate rooms with the mediator going between them. At the very first session we went to, the mediator asked if we were definitely divorcing or not, as the service they offered was purely for divorce.

Maybe you are thinking of couples counselling where you talk about the emotional side and work out whether there is a chance of saving the marraige?

  • Itgetsbetter
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14 Mar 09 #98761 by Itgetsbetter
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mediation is there to try and find an agreement and should be kept business like.....That said though it is very easy to get in the mindset of wondering why you are doing things like trying to agree contact arrangements for your children, or talking about selling the house you have worked for for years. Then emotions and feelings do creep in. The emotions do make it hard but they are a natural thing and can't always be suppressed but can be managed.

I went into mediation with my own ideas of what I wanted, I did not know what my stbx wanted and a couple of times was surprised by some of the things she raised. Remember if you aren't prepared to discuss a particular topic you can cover it later. For example in one session she said she wanted to discuss spousal maintenance. I asked if we could discuss it in a subsequent session

My mediation was hard going, I came out of one session feeling very drained because I was working so hard to remain business like. But the result was worth it in the end. I suspect going through the courts may be even harded, and certainly more expensive!

All be best

  • HelpMePlease
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14 Mar 09 #98767 by HelpMePlease
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Well, I'm glad I asked then. I suppose I was assuming that it might be normal to at least round things off with a personal goodbye, or something. I'm mean, it's not as if marriage is a "business arrangment" - so it seems awful that divorce really does seem to come down to that.

My husband would never agree to going to Relate. I tried to persuade him but he kept on saying there was no point. (He still hadn't had the courage to tell me he had been having an affair and was actually living with this woman, though he'd left our home 2 weeks' earlier.)The only counselling was interested in having with me was abortion counselling as he wanted me to get rid of our baby. (I haven't done so, by the way - thank God!)

My husband went ahead with his own separate session so I'll be having mine at a later date, separately as well. I don't know if we'll then be having a joint one or not. There is a tremendous amount of bad feeling, so it's unlikely even if it would be wise. Sadly if it just to discuss practical matters, I don't think it will be in my interests to see him at all. I find the whole emotional aspect (or lack of, in his case) by far the most disturbing part to this divorce.

  • Fiona
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14 Mar 09 #98784 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona
It is very important to deal with emotions separately using a counsellor yourself if necessary. Arrangements for children and finances need to be dealt with in a neutral and business like manner - emotion hurts the wallet.

mediation has a win/win approach as a professional works with both to find a way forward that can work for everyone. If successful it tends to be quicker and cheaper than conventional advocacy and people are more satisfied with arrangements they made themselves and more likely to adhere to them. When children are involved mediation (or collaborative law) does less damage to long term family relationships.

Traditional advocacy has a win/lose approach and the aim is to secure the best possible deal for one party at the expense of the other. This is often a protracted and very expensive way to proceed.

  • NellNoRegrets
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14 Mar 09 #98870 by NellNoRegrets
Reply from NellNoRegrets
The legal side of divorce is purely about money, childcare arrangements etc. Just as the legal side of marriage is concerned with taxes etc.

You can vow to love eachother forever but that isn't something that can be legislated for.

It seems sad that there isn't a formal ceremony to end the personal side of your marriage, but most of the time one partner left the marriage emotionally long before s/he left it physically.

You want answers from your husband but it is unlikely that even if he did give them to you they would be satisfactory. My husband's explanation for leaving me to live with someone else is that:
a) I was horrible to him
b) she threw herself at him and
c) it was fate.

i can't say that I found any of these reasons satisfactory. I stopped torturing myself worrying about the whys and wherefores and just accepted that a man that didn't want me wasn't a man that was worthy of me. I got on with my own life.

How you deal with the emotional side is up to you
I've done:
9 months of counselling
6 months of anti-depressants
accepting every invitation I get whether I fancy it or not
always having something to look forward to
seeing my friends
this site

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