The Art of Settling Divorce Disputes

September 30, 2022 by No Comments

If you are going through a divorce, there is a possibility that your case will be resolved in front of a court that is far lower than 2%. This indicates that there is an extremely high probability that you will never have your “day in court,” as it is commonly referred to. If you and your partner are getting a divorce, the odds are quite high that you and your partner will eventually reach a resolution to all of the difficulties that are connected to the divorce. The manner in which you and your spouse choose to achieve a settlement is the factor that counts the most in the long run. The following is a quick rundown of the many choices you have:


The usual procedure for getting a divorce involves one partner submitting a divorce petition to the court, the other partner being legally served with the petition, and the first partner providing a formal response. The court will often issue a case management order that specifies the length of time that will be allowed for the parties to “find” one another’s papers and information, which is typically close to one hundred twenty days. During this time period, legal fees amounting to thousands of dollars are incurred in order to prepare and exchange discovery, prepare and document case information remarks, and possibly on custody lite (pending litigation) movement in order to address temporary issues such as custody, mothering time, and support although the divorce is ongoing.

At the end of the discovery phase, there is something called a Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel (MESP), which is essentially a very quick form of non-binding arbitration in which the panellists provide the spouses a suggestion for settling the dispute. In the event that the dispute is not resolved at or shortly following the MESP, the parties will be forced to participate in post-MESP mandatory economic mediation prior to the trial. In many cases, the spouses are responsible for paying legal expenses of thousands, and even tens of thousands, of dollars in order to access the MESP. In the end, if they are unable to come to an agreement, a trial will be convened. The direction and objective of the court are to facilitate the parties’ movement toward a settlement prior to the trial. Many times, the judges may demand that the parties and their counsel show up in court for a variety of settlement discussions before the actual trial.

Litigation is typically exceedingly costly both monetarily and emotionally, and it places a strain on the mental and emotional health of the parties involved as well as their families, which may include young children as well as adult children. In addition, the legislation, legal processes, the Rules of Court, and the Rules of Evidence all place constraints and boundaries on the court, the attorneys, and the spouses involved in the dispute. The legal proceedings associated with a divorce can frequently consume at least one year of time.


A mediator who is both skilled and experienced helps spouses work through the challenges that arise during the divorce process. The mediator acts as a facilitator for the discussion of the contentious topics and provides assistance to the spouses in their search for a settlement that is fair, reasonable, and satisfactory to both of them. Mediators will often give ideas and alternative approaches to problems as well as potential resolutions, although they will not often make specific recommendations. Instead than handing over control of their future to a court, couples can keep that authority in their own hands through the process of mediation, which enables them to come up with a solution that will benefit both themselves and their children. The spouses who are going through the divorce can choose to meet with the mediator on their own or they can bring their attorneys with them to the mediation sessions.

During the course of the mediation process, some partners choose to employ attorneys for the purposes of counsel and consultation; however, they do not have the attorneys participate in sessions. The requirements, aims, and interests of both parties should be taken into consideration during the mediation process. Mediation makes use of creativity and ideas that are beyond the norm, and it is not constrained or confined in any way by legal process, the Rules of Court, or the Rules of Evidence. In addition, the law does not inherently restrict or limit mediation in any way. If parties are able to resolve their differences through mediation, the process will culminate with the creation of a memorandum of understanding or a marriage settlement agreement by the mediator (aka property settlement agreement). There are a variety of approaches to mediation, as well as mediators. Please refer to our blog post titled “Types of Mediation” for for details on these various approaches. Surrey Mediation Service

Divorce via Collaborative Efforts

Both parties employ attorneys who have been legally educated in collaborative law, and one of them may also engage a divorce coach. A series of sessions are held between the spouses, their attorneys, and a coach (if one is being utilised), during which the couples exchange papers and information, address any problems that need to be resolved, and strive toward a conclusion that is fair, reasonable, and equitable to both spouses. In this scenario, the spouses, their attorneys, and any other involved experts work together as a team to find solutions to the issues that have arisen, as opposed to the traditional scenario in which the attorneys and spouses play the role of opponents. In the collaborative process, the attorneys act as advocates not just for their clients but also for themselves.

Through the participation of both partners in the collaborative process, it will be possible to ensure that all relevant information and documents will be disclosed in its entirety. Everything takes place during the sessions, which eliminates the need for the contentious and time-consuming back-and-forth via letters and emails that so frequently plagues the process of litigating a dispute. If the couple is able to resolve their differences amicably, their attorneys will create a marriage settlement agreement, which both parties will then sign. Following this, any party may file a complaint for divorce and continue uncontested to seek a divorce judgement from the court.

The Divorce at the “Kitchen Table”

Without the assistance of attorneys, mediators, or any other experts, certain divorcing couples are able to sit down together in private and negotiate a settlement that meets both of their needs. After that, one of the partners takes the terms of the agreement to a lawyer to have them fashioned into a formal marriage settlement agreement, also known as a property settlement agreement. After that, the attorney will often provide the agreement for the other spouse or that spouse’s counsel to go over and evaluate. After being signed, it is then possible for one of the spouses to submit a complaint for divorce and then continue on to achieve a final judgement of divorce even if the other spouse does not fight the divorce.

Discussions between Legal Counsel

Before any petition for divorce is submitted to the court, some divorcing couples choose to negotiate a settlement with the assistance of legal counsel that they have retained on their own behalf. Documents and information can be traded between attorneys in an informal process known as “discovery,” and negotiations can take place by correspondence, email, or face-to-face meetings with both parties (commonly called four-way meetings). Trusted Mediators Essex

Arbitration with Legal Obligation

When spouses are unable to resolve their disagreements and it is essential to have a third party decide for them, some choose to opt out of the court system and submit their dispute to binding arbitration as an alternative to going through the court system and litigating their disagreement. The spouses, along with their attorneys or on their own if they do not have attorneys, determine what rules will apply to their arbitration, hire an experienced division of assets but rather family civil attorney or family lawyer to act as their arbitrator, and finally hand over the issues that are in dispute to the arbitrator for a decision. This can be accomplished by the holding of a formal hearing that is analogous to a trial in a court of law, through the agreed submission of facts, documents, and other material to the arbitrator, or through a mixture of all of these methods.

As long as the parties agree with the laws and procedures that govern the arbitration process, an arbitration can be conducted in the same manner as a formal trial, it can be shortened in many different ways, and it can be adapted to the requirements and preferences of the spouses involved. Due to the scheduling of the court, court trials can go for months at a time. In contrast to the court system, where it is almost unheard of to have consecutive trial dates, binding arbitration can frequently take place on consecutive days and in a far less amount of time than a court trial. Even if the spouses are the ones who will be paying the arbitrator, binding arbitration still has the potential to be more time and money efficient than other dispute resolution methods. The spouses and their attorneys have a greater degree of control over the procedure, and they are in a better position to ensure that they hire an arbitrator who possesses a large amount of expertise in addition to a thorough understanding of the law. Many times, judges are appointed to the bench without having any prior expertise in the area of family law or divorce, and some judges do not even have any prior experience in the courtroom, so they have to learn on the job.

A Closing Remark

It is essential to keep in mind that the court does not analyse marital settlement agreements that have been signed by the spouses. Furthermore, the court does not determine whether or not a settlement is fair, nor does it endorse or disapprove of payments. The judge just needs to come to the conclusion that both parties entered into the agreement freely, of their own free will, and with an understanding of their rights to have the court try the issues and render a judicial ruling. The court does not interfere with either party’s freedom to engage in self-determination and instead encourages both parties to reach a solution.

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