Hopefully if you’ve followed these blogs for the last few weeks then you have a greater idea of the thinking that goes into this question.  In order to help you arrive at a definitive answer the purpose of this blog is to pull the threads together into a thought process.

  • The starting point is do you have issues that need resolving as a result of your separation?  These might be to do with money, or your children, or both.  Or they might be linked to possessions you have.  If you don’t have any issues that need resolving then you don’t need to worry.  If there are issues that need resolving then the question is how you can resolve these issues together.  You might not feel like you’ll be able to work together but you can factor that into what process might be right for you.  Some people need more professional support than others.  Sometimes people need more support at the beginning but after some time they are more able to work issues out themselves.  This blog talks about whether you might be able to resolve things yourselves (with support).
  • The first question to ask yourself is whether you need to apply to the court for the protection of the court?  This could be because you are in a very vulnerable situation financially, or because you are fearful that your child’s other parent might take your children out of the country and not come back.  If this is the case then you need to know what the rules say about applying to the court and mediation and you can find out all about this in this blog.
  • If you don’t need urgent protection from the court then it’s helpful to know that there are other processes that exist to help you resolve all the issues that are cropping up.  Everyone’s situation can be different so that’s why there is more than one process.  You can find out about all the process that exist to help separating couples in this blog.
  • If having read more about the different DR processes you have an idea of what is the right process for you then go for it.  You can ask your lawyer how to get started.  If you don’t yet have a lawyer then you can find one here.  If mediation feels right for you (or you think it’s worth finding out more about it).  Then you can find a mediator using the same link as for finding a lawyer, or you can find a mediator via the Family Mediation Council. Remember that if you feel a process isn’t working for you then you can always move processes.

If you still feel that you’re in a bit of confusion over what to do next then it could be that it’s because you’re feeling overwhelmed by your separation generally.  If you feel unsupported and that you don’t know which way to turn then the following might help:

  • Talk to your GP about a referral for counselling.  Divorce and separation are one of the most difficult life events that people go through.  There is no shame in needing a safe space to off load about the challenges you’re facing.  Feeling more emotionally equipped will benefit you in resolving all the issues you need to.
  • An initial appointment with a mediator or a lawyer may help to answer the questions you have about the way forward.  It doesn’t commit you to a particular process but it may help you to feel less stuck or overwhelmed.
  • Read more about separation and the different options.  Resolution’s website is a good place to start.  You may also find this book helpful: 101 questions answered about separation with children 
  • Sign up to our completely free mailing list.  Anyone can do this – you don’t have to be a client of ours.  You can guidance and support on managing your separation as constructively and peacefully as possible every fortnight.
  • Join our online community for free support from others going through a separation and professionals who offer their support and guidance to the community for free.

If you’re a fan of flow charts then this one we’ve put together to talk you through the process of whether you need to mediate might be helpful (it’s the first flow chart we’ve ever put together so be kind now!).

Do I have to mediate?