Even if you and your spouse have decided to divorce amicably, it’s natural to still feel overwhelmed. By choosing the right specialist to help you through the process, you can minimise the stress and find an agreement that works for you both. To help you find the right divorce negotiator to decide whether mediation will work for you. Here are four questions it’s important to ask them before starting the process.
What experience do you have?
Whenever you seek professional help, it’s important it comes from someone who has extensive knowledge and understanding of the subject.
Divorce negotiation is no different. While each case is unique, an experienced negotiator will have helped other couples through similar situations and understand what’s needed to reach an agreement. They’ll know how to approach sensitive, complicated issues and the best way to communicate with a wide range of personalities.
It’s also reassuring to know that they’ve received relevant training and understand legal issues around child maintenance, tax, pensions, wills and property. So it’s a good idea to outline all elements that are involved in your circumstances and ask about this as well.
Can you deal with all elements of the divorce – including finances and children?
In any divorce, certain issues are trickier to sort out than others. So before you decide who to use, you should find out what they will – and won’t – be able to resolve.
Children and finances often prove most difficult to find common ground over. Therefore, it makes sense to ask a negotiator how much experience they have in these areas. For instance, if you have significant assets or one of you owns a business – have they helped other couples find agreements in similar situations? And if you’re concerned about issues like child maintenance and access, do they have relevant experience?
How does the process work and how long is it likely to take?
The divorce process can vary, depending on which specialist you use. And what’s right for one couple, may not suit another.
Getting an idea of how things work means you go into it more prepared and open-minded. This can help discussions move more smoothly and quickly. For example, you should be clear on whether you’ll both be with the specialist at all times. Or if there are occasions when you need to speak individually. Its also a good idea to ask whether you’ll have someone dedicated to your case. Or if there will be other specialists, depending on what you’re discussing at the time.
Many couples choose negotiation as it’s quicker and more amicable rather than going down the traditional solicitor route. It’s no good having pre-conceived ideas of getting a swift resolution only to find out your specialist can’t help you to achieve it.
How much is it likely to cost?
Another major factor when choosing a divorce specialist is being able to afford the fees involved with using them. If both parties are attending different solicitors then there is going to be two bills to be pay at the end of the process. Whereas, choosing an amicable specialist who will go through the process with both of you will result in one combined bill to split between you.
Like any service, costs vary considerably depending on who you use and unless you ask specifically, you might find out there are hidden charges you didn’t expect so it is always important to ask for an estimate after explaining your circumstances and before starting the process.
Starting with these questions should give you some a steerage as to whether the specialist is going to suit your circumstances and whether you would be comfortable dealing with them for this very personal life event.