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Family Mediation Week is this year taking place between the 18th-22nd January. The annual initiative creates awareness of the many benefits of reaching mutual post-divorce agreements, rather than heading to court.
January is the most common time of year for relationship breakdown and separation. It is thought this is due to the stress of the holiday period and ‘trying to keep the peace’ through this time finally cracks. “The festive period often proves the final straw for relationships that have been fragile for some time,” says Jane Robey, the CEO of the charity National Family Mediation. “That’s why January is known in family law circles as divorce month.”
Of course, this year the covid-19 pandemic and prolonged lockdown periods have only increased the strain on many relationships and marriages.
“The festive period often proves the final straw for relationships that have been fragile for some time,” says Jane Robey, the CEO of the charity National Family Mediation. “That’s why January is known in family law circles as divorce month.”
Mediation offers the parties involved the chance to discuss all their issues and decide agreeable and long-term solutions, rather than letting a Judge decide. This can then be drafted into a legally binding order.
Divorce can be a stressful time and mediation can be a way forward to avoid a costly and lengthy court process. In some instances however, mediation is not appropriate and court may be necessary to resolve issues, such as if there has been domestic abuse.
Whilst mediation has seen an increase, with around 22% of couples opting to utilise a mediator, it remains fairly low. It is notable that this is in line with a decrease in court applications, which have dropped by 13%, meaning more matters are being settled by alternative methods.
At Ramsdens Solicitors we can offer support and advice before, during and after the mediation process.