Family

DRC working with families
Increasingly, DRC’s mediators find themselves involved in helping parties to a breaking marriage end it with dignity.  Our mediators are not relationship counsellors but they will help with the negotiations over access and custody of children, income support and the division of property.  

Matters which can be addressed in mediation

  • A divorced couple may be struggling to keep up maintenance payments
  • A couple separating may want to agree on the time the children spend with each of them in school time and in holidays
  • A separating couple who have shared business interests may find it difficult to discuss business as well as dividing their home and personal possessions, and issues relating to the children
  • Both parents have a good income.  Who will pay the school fees?

When to go for mediation
Mediation is more no complicated than a facilitated negotiation, involving a neutral person coming into the dynamic to help those who are finding it difficult to negotiate themselves.  Not surprisingly, this is often the case when relationships are strained to breaking point with the collapse of a marriage.   The process has the best chances of success if the divorcing or separating couple see a mediator before each instructing their own advocates.  Indeed, one of the basic principles underlying the merits of mediation is that the sooner you try and settle a dispute, the easier it is to do so.  However, it is never too late and mediation can be conducted while a court case is ongoing.    

Settlement
If mediation is successful, the negotiated terms of any settlement are usually incorporated into a simple Separation Agreement.  Once signed, the Agreement allows both parties to the marriage to live their separate lives.

Divorce
In the case of divorce, the Separation Agreement can be filed in court in the course of divorce proceedings and there is no need for any further discussion over children or assets.  Divorce may be by mutual consent after three years of living apart.  

 

‘Unless we change direction, we're likely to end up where we're headed’
Chinese proverb
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