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What Happens If the Other Party Does Not Attend Mediation

Relationships don’t always go the way you planned. Now you’re stuck trying to figure out how to handle the aftermath. For many people, the idea of going to divorce court is unpleasant and stressful because divorce unsettles the lifestyle you were used to. Thankfully, you have more than one option. Before you go to court, you can try mediation. In fact, this step is usually a requirement before you can go to court.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a way to help establish an agreement between people. A mediation is held by a neutral person called a ‘mediator’ who is impartial. They are not there to take sides and instead are trying to help everyone involved to work together to come up with an agreement. This means they do not take sides. They’re there to help everyone involved find a solution they can all agree to. The role of a mediator is not to decide right and wrong, instead they are looking to help everyone come up with a solution together.

During mediation, you and your ex sit down with a neutral third party and try to work out your finances so that both of you agree. It is a less expensive, and hopefully less stressful way of resolving conflicts than having to battle it out in court.

But what happens if the other party does not want to attend mediation? Let’s find out.

How to Convince Your Ex to Attend Mediation

Mediation is a normal part of the divorce process. In fact, in the UK it is a legal requirement before you can go to court.

However, convincing your ex to attend mediation might not always be as easy as you’d think. If they don’t realize the legal requirement, they might think it’s your idea and say no just to be contrary.

If this happens, there are a few things you can try to get them to cooperate.

Have the Mediator Contact Them

First, interview and hire a mediator. You don’t have to invite your ex to mediation and in most cases, it’s best not to. Let the mediator contact them and invite them, that’s part of their job. Usually, your ex-partner will be more receptive to the idea if they are approached by someone other than you. If you are unsure on how to proceed, a mediation solicitor can help to reduce the stress of the divorce process.

Understand Your Ex-partner’s Reasons To Be Reluctant

Many people don’t readily know what mediation is. They might think that you are trying to get them to attend an incognito counselling session. Other times they might feel that even though you have your rough spots, the two of you are settling things well enough. They might not like the idea of getting someone else involved.

Fear of the unknown can also be a factor as well as not wanting to lose control over the situation. It’s important to realise that mediation gives each party much more of a say in what happens than they will get in court. The mediator will explain all this when they contact your ex-spouse so they fully understand what they are being asked to do.

Furthermore, many people will not like the idea of sitting down in the same room with their ex-spouse. Emotions usually run high during a divorce and they may fear being able to keep it together. The mediator will explain that this is normal and it’s okay to take breaks as needed.

Finally, it’s common for one partner to have handled the finances and be more familiar with them. If you’re that partner, the other may feel at a disadvantage when discussing these matters. However, that’s part of what the mediator is there for — to help both of you understand and decide on the best scenario.

Appeal to Their Budget

Mediation is far less costly than going to court. The cost of mediation per hour is usually a lot less than legal counsel. You’re also typically only paying one person rather than two solicitors. Plus, there are no other court costs and fees involved.

The cost of a divorce varies depending on a range of factors, however it is often a concern and stress for people involved in the divorce process. Therefore, your ex-partner may have reservations towards a mediation due to concerns surrounding costs.

Have Your Divorce Solicitor Contact Them

If nothing else works, it’s time to pull out the big guns. If you don’t already have a solicitor, now is the time to hire one. You don’t have to be going to court yet to hire a solicitor. In fact, it’s always a good idea to get legal advice if you’re facing divorce just so you know all your options.

You can get legal counsel for your specific situation, as well as have your solicitor talk to your ex about mediation. Your solicitor will explain that mediation is not just your idea, but actually part of the process. If your ex decides not to attend mediation, you then have the right to petition the court. You both have less of a voice in the courtroom than at the mediation table and have to abide by whatever the judge decides.

What Happens If the Other Party Does Not Attend Mediation?

Generally, both parties are expected to attend mediation. There is a short list of exemptions that usually have to do with keeping everyone safe in cases involving domestic violence. Your mediator can help you decide if an exemption applies in your case.

If your ex is not exempt and doesn’t attend mediation, you can then apply for a court order. Once your case goes to court, the judge will make binding decisions about the case that you both will be obligated to follow.

Mediation is less expensive than going to court. Thus, it is in both parties best interest to mediate. However, many people misunderstand the point of mediation or think that because their ex chose the mediator, they will be on their side.

But a mediator is not a solicitor. A mediator is a neutral third party who works to bring both sides to the middle and find a solution you both can live with. You both may have to make sacrifices, but ultimately, many people can find a solution that works without destroying each other financially in court.

Contacting Our Divorce Solicitors

Your marriage has not gone the way you planned and now it’s time to put it behind you. Looking for help with the legal matters? Turn to one of the best divorce specialists in Leeds. Austin Kemp also offers divorce solicitors in Huddersfield, divorce solicitors in Manchester, and divorce law services across the UK. Contact our solicitors today for more information and support during the divorce process.

We are incredibly proud of our 92% success rate, which happens because we put the needs of our clients first. No matter how many separations we help negotiate, we know that your case is unique and we will treat it as such.

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24th January 2022

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