By Paul Sandford
What Suzy offers to do for all divorcing or separating couples who instruct Albert Square Mediation Plus is to offer an initial complimentary Divorce Navigation discussion session to outline what is involved in the whole process of separation and divorce. The purpose of this is to assist clients and prepare them for what is to come.
At the time that Jane (not her real name) was introduced to Suzy she was in the process of separating and divorcing from her husband. Their breakup had been very acrimonious for over two years and it was clear that a lot of very harsh things had been said on both sides. The hurt and upset resulted in ongoing arguments with her spouse and the tension was increasing.
Suzy and Jane first met at a highly regarded speaking event where Suzy was one of the speakers. Jane attended Suzy’s talk where she spoke about the issues people have keeping things peaceful during family separation. Jane revealed to Suzy that she had been telling anyone who would listen during the coffee break that she wanted to have her husband killed. And she wasn’t joking. Suzy was characteristically non-judgmental about this since she has known many individuals reach that stage of anger and misery.
Jane revealed that listening to Suzy’s talk was cathartic. She said she cried most of the way through it. At the end she opened her mind – and her heart – to believing that there must be a better way forward.
In a later complimentary Divorce Navigation call (available when Suzy is contacted via the ASM Plus website) Suzy identified a number of significant financial and child-related issues, which because of the ongoing acrimony between Jane and her spouse had simply not been addressed, and these issues needed to be resolved quite urgently.
Suzy explained that it was entirely understandable that Jane would feel hurt and bitter, and empathised with her. However, she explained that whilst her outlook and her ongoing disputes were entirely understandable, they were not only impeding progress but making things even worse.
Although she made it clear that she was not in a position to give legal advice, Suzy very gently explained what can happen when couples are unable to agree and as a result, they have to deal with protracted and often complex court proceedings. Suzy explained that there were significant costs issues and that not only would the court process result in further delays but that a considerable amount of time would have to be devoted to that court process. Jane had a part-time job and childcare responsibilities and it was explained to her that court proceedings could result in having to take possibly unpaid time off work and the quality of an already strained domestic situation could deteriorate even further.
Suzy also mentioned that, as an alternative to divorce, Jane and her ex could agree to go to family mediation. It was explained that this was a much more focused, cost effective and time saving process. It was also explained that whilst this process was not a substitute for legal advice, Jane would not necessarily need to spend a lot of time with her solicitors and the bulk of the work could be done within the context of the mediation process.
Suzy did not suggest that Jane should “forgive and forget”. However, she did emphasise that if Jane was able to put her feelings of animosity to one side then progress would be made and her life would be much easier. It was also explained that decisions made during the divorce process would affect the lives of Jane, her soon-to-be-ex and the children that they both love, for years to come, and that although it may be difficult, displaying a level of objectivity about things could make all the difference. Suzy emphasised that by “change of attitude” that she did not mean that she was advising Jane to “give in” but that, a more measured approach to things might give her a better chance of securing her objectives.
Suzy mapped out the different experts who can support the financial, parenting and psychological journey of divorce, and provided no-obligation personal introductions to those experts.
Jane listened to what Suzy had to say. Whilst it would be incorrect to suggest that there was a complete transformation, Jane did take the advice that was given and towards the end of the discussion indicated that she would not only reflect but address her disputes with her spouse in a more conciliatory way, and develop a strategy to bring the divorce to a swifter and less costly close.
For a free initial without obligation discussion contact the ASM director, Paul Sandford on +351 968 898 080. He is also on WhatsApp, Wickr and Telegram or would be very happy to speak to you on Skype. His email is email@example.com
Principal Director of ASM PLUS, civil/commercial, workplace, employment, family and educational mediator and trainer with a judicial/legal background. He has knowledge and expertise in dispute resolution in a wide range of areas and disciplines and mediates online.