Family Solicitors Ipswich – Rising costs of divorce without qualified mediators

Nicola Furmston Mediation Cropped

‘It’s fair to say that the cost of a divorce can cause a sharp intake of breath and costs always increase where there are disagreements over property. One family law judge has recorded this week his utter despair over the extent of costs run up by a wealthy couple, where a trust set up in favour of the eldest son has reduced, on the face of it, the available assets for the wife. The wife does not accept this and, although the case is still at a very early stage the legal costs already amount to £1 million.  With family members polarised (the wife is living with their three grown-up daughters, who themselves are up in arms about being side-lined from the family fortune) the stage is set for a very long and messy battle indeed. Whether anything will remain to divide is yet to be seen.

The government’s removal of family legal aid has triggered a significant reduction  in the number of couples using mediation as a method of alternative dispute resolution. Many families remain oblivious to the skilled approach highly qualified mediators bring to situations and the savings in cost and stress to be had by continuing to talk in a supported environment, rather than slugging it out in the court-room. For couples on lower incomes legal aid is still available for mediation.’

Nicola Furmston is a family law solicitor who specialises in mediation at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Ipswich

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