The courts take an approach to divorce which is often not very helpful and doesn’t sit well with the way in which separating couples approach the issues that they are suddenly faced with; they deal with issues of the division of assets and the financial arrangements between the parties entirely separately from issues of the residence and support of children. This can make the process of divorce more difficult, longer and more painful.
Most parents believe that the physical and emotional well-being of their children is of paramount importance, and there are few that would find fault with such a view. They believe that providing for their children and keeping a roof over their heads is the principal issue to be considered when approaching divorce, and thus are fundamental questions on the division of property and the financial arrangements surrounding the divorce, separation or dissolution of a Civil Partnership. It is thus harder to understand why the law deals with the questions of the division of the assets of the marriage or civil partnership entirely separately from those about the residence and support of children, particularly as it may be very difficult for parents to agree sensible arrangements for the children until other issues have been settled, and thus they know where they are going to be living and how they are going to pay the bills.
Family mediation can cover all issues, and can provide a setting in which difficult and seemingly intractable problems can be addressed in parallel rather than one after the other. This will give the parents involved in family mediation the option to consider these issues simultaneously. This will generally lead to issues being resolved more quickly and in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than hostility. Given that there must be some form of ongoing relationship between the parents in order to best serve the children, the atmosphere of cooperation that family mediation encourages is invaluable.