The advantages of mediation in resolving family disputes
Good on you Russell Crowe for tackling the issue that is often the curse of the divorce settlement....all the stuff, baggage and chattels. Admittedly, his decision post-divorce was allegedly to help finance the unhappy event but he should become a role model in this often forgotten outpost of the divorce settlement.
Usually, this is the last hurdle to be faced and often the straw that breaks the negotiating camel’s back as a consequence - divorcing couples really get serious over the dinner service, the marital bed, the dog and the well, the valuable things.
Income, investments, companies and real property are always hard fought over. The negotiations often range over months and are crystallised at round table meetings or in court led sessions. There is give and take, grandstanding and bluff and often the best of agreements that to quote the cliché requires “no one to go away happy” - and just as the lawyers are thinking about their next case or the nearest bar, someone raises the chattels the accumulated stuff of 20 years. Surely, this can be sorted out by the couple directly? No way, this is the time to get to meet the court cleaners and to understand that a day of compromise comes at a cost. The resentment of giving comes to the boil over things often of little value.
I have seen lawyers writing personal cheques for a replacement Harrods dinner service, the last obstacle between settlement (and banking the brief fee early) and another day of negotiations. I have as a junior been assigned post-settlement to go to a country house to help the couple agree the division of its contents, only to be taken to that drawer in the kitchen containing string and loyalty cards and be told that “nothing in here is agreed”.
The problem of leaving court or the negotiations without this last aspect resolved is that the legal fees clock keeps ticking.
So what are the solutions?
If you have any questions about the issues raised in this blog, please contact a member of our family team.
For further tips on how to effectively manage your divorce case, you may also be interested in reading:
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