Divorce and family law solicitor Sian Winter explains the alternative ways you can use to reach an agreement over finances when you divorce.
There are several different ways you can reach an agreement when you divorce, the first and most simple is obviously to have discussions directly with your spouse. Provided the two of you are on reasonably good terms you can always sit down and discuss and try and reach an agreement between the two of you. The important thing is when you think you have reached an agreement is to take some legal advice to check that what you have agreed is going to work and is fair and reasonable and then to get that agreement recorded in a written document which is usually a Court Order by consent.
Alternatively if you are having difficulty in reaching an agreement directly with your spouse you may want to negotiate through your lawyers. We can put things in writing for you and we can put in the points of law which support the arguments we are trying to make on your behalf and the idea is we exchange letters with your spouse’s solicitors on a without prejudice basis which means these letters and offers can’t be shown to the Judge and we try and narrow the issues and hopefully reach an agreement which we then draw up into a consent order, then ratified by the court so that it becomes binding.
If you are finding it difficult to negotiate with your spouse directly you may want to consider using a mediator which means the two of you will go to the mediator’s office and you will sit down round a table with the mediator who is there as an impartial person to help direct discussions and negotiations and hopefully help you reach an agreement. The mediator will then usually draw up the heads of your agreement, the key points of the agreement which you have reached with your spouse, for you to take back to your lawyers and we then give you the legal advice about the agreement you have reached and make sure it is all going to work as far as the law is concerned and if everyone is happy with it we can then draw it up into a Court Order by consent.
If you’re unable to reach an agreement with your spouse either directly, through mediation or through your lawyers then you can ask a third party – either a Court or an Arbitrator – to settle the dispute and make the decision for you. Court and Arbitration are very similar, the difference is Arbitration is something that you would both have to agree to and you would have to pay an Arbitrator to settle the dispute.
To discuss your particular circumstances and the best route to take book a free initial chat with one of our lawyers here.