In a recent blog talking about the rise and role of divorce coaches we talked about using them for support in coping with divorce and in mapping out life after separation and what that will look like for you. Understandably when we start to talk to clients about bringing in other experts their immediate concern is the cost of paying a number of different professionals. They often say to us that they don’t have much money and need to keep the costs down and really don’t need a team.
This may be the case especially where you are both on the same page about most issues and just need a little help putting together the full details of what is going to happen next. When you get stuck or bogged down in any issue then you may benefit from bringing in other experts. This is because using the wrong professional to address an issue can mean that you spend more money with that professional without achieving a resolution. You can then both become frustrated with the lack of progress and consequently each other and this can give rise to family disputes that take longer to sort out – and in the most extreme scenario end up in court.
To use a couple of examples: In scenario one Janet and Roger are trying to work out what it is best to do about pensions. They are both 61 and know that they will both retire in the next 5 years. They each have a number of different pension pots and have to decide what they want to achieve in terms of what feels fair to them but they also have to work within what is possible with regard to pensions. The family mediator explains the different ways of dealing with pensions to Janet and Roger but this does not help them work out what is best for them. Janet and Roger can come back for a number of mediation meetings but this won’t help them to find the right way forward for them because they don’t have the right information about their pensions to enable them to make a decision. If they involve a pensions expert (which could be an actuary, a Chartered Financial Planner or a financial advisor) then this will enable them to properly understand the pensions they have and what benefits they will provide and to look at how they can practically achieve an outcome which they both think is fair.
In the second example Paul and Imogen are unable to find a way forward with regard to when their children, Tom (8)and Daisy (5), will be with Paul and when they will be with Imogen. They are both extremely angry about their separation and are directing this at each other because they each feel the separation is the other’s fault. This has led to some very nasty arguments that have taken place in front of Tom and Daisy. As a result of this Daisy has started wetting the bed again at night and Tom has become very withdrawn and uncommunicative. They each blame the other for the problems with the children which they see as the other person’s fault because they caused the breakdown of the relationship. Paul and Imogen can keep coming to mediation meetings to try to find a way forward but these are increasingly becoming a trade of insults and categorised by either party leaving the room considerably upset. If Paul and Imogen are each able to take some time and see a counsellor to help them deal with the breakdown of their relationship then they will likely be able to come back to mediation in a few months feeling calmer and more able to make plans and put the needs of Tom and Daisy first.
In both these scenarios spending money on another expert to help the couple with the family dispute will probably mean less money spent on mediation sessions and that the mediation meetings they have will be more productive. It will also save them coming to the conclusion that mediation has broken down and that they need to start court proceedings. With engaging lawyers to go through the court process costing thousands of pounds it’s easy to see how spending a few hundred or even £1,000 on another expert can save money in the longer term.
At LKW Family Mediation we look at things from an overall perspective as to what is going to deliver the best outcome for the couple we’re working with at any given moment. We will always talk to you about how much progress is being made and whether there is anything – or anyone – else that might help you to move forward. We are a founding member of the Surrey Divorce Solutions initiative that offers fixed fee services to couples going through a separation which includes the services of different professionals. For help finding other experts to assist you with moving on after divorce please get in touch by calling 01306 646690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.