Unreasonable behaviour in divorce. Most people seeing this phrase will assume I’m talking about the use of unreasonable behaviour in a divorce petition. The document used to apply for a divorce and the use of unreasonable behaviour as a reason in requesting the request for a divorce be granted.
I’m talking about something else however. I’m referring instead to the behaviour often seen by divorcing couples once the tensions, and fear associated with divorce begin to ratchet up. Usually, there is a great deal of fear by both parties about not being able to support themselves or losing contact with their children. These fears often become the defining factor in the behaviour of both.
This is understandable in many ways and not helped by the fact that the English system of family law (on the face of it anyway) is one which pits two sides against each other in a legal battle. The tragedy of this is that much like with the battle of the Somme, each side is fighting a war of attrition that results in unforgiving casualties on both sides and in most cases they don’t even realise it.
Without question, there are circumstances where a solicitor led divorce is pretty much a necessity. These are cases where there is active violence, or where one party is actively hiding assets or is purposefully alienating the other parent from their children. In the majority of cases however, even though it might seem like an ex-partner is trying to pull a fast one, it simply isn’t the case. Fear takes over however, and the system as it stands takes full advantage of this to the detriment of the public.
The bots over at Aviva have worked out that the average cost of divorce in the UK comes in a touch under £22,000 per person. This is no small amount, and the truth is, that for most couples it can be completely avoided. By contrast, at New Landscape Mediation the average cost of a mediated agreement, when dealing with both a full financial settlement as well as making arrangements for children, comes in at £975.00 each. Where we are only assisting a family with one of these issues (finances or children), the cost is much less. Importantly, this cost includes the production of an outcome document describing the settlement solution couples have reached that can then be made into a legally binding court order.
The unreasonable behaviour I am talking about in this blog then, refers to the situation where people rush straight into a full-on fighting position and brace themselves for court, without spending just a little bit of time and effort to discover how mediation might not just save them their savings, but also their dignity.
If you would like more information about how mediation can help you or your ex from rushing into this unreasonable behaviour in divorce, please call our offices on 01279 211 657 for a fully confidential, no obligation discussion of your needs.