A recent survey by YouGov in support of Family Mediation Week has revealed a lack of support for couples seeking information on separation, especially when related to children’s issues and finances. According to the poll, up to 38% of respondents were unaware of out-of-court alternatives to separation, such as mediation, arbitration and collaborative family law.
The results of the survey showed that couples felt more positive about the process and outcome of their separation when they had greater access to information about their options. In general, 48% of respondents said that they felt positively about their separation, but this percentage increased and decreased across the country in direct relation to the amount of information participants had access to. There was a notable lack of knowledge in younger respondents with regard to alternative options for resolution disputes, with 38% reporting that they were unaware of any methods of separation other than court divorce. Nationally, this figure was 15%.
Furthermore, the poll revealed that few separating couples were aware of the differing costs of resolution methods, with almost a quarter of separating couples making their decision based on the cheapest option. Mediation has been shown to be significantly less expensive than other forms of separation, but of the people surveyed only 2% chose this method. Conversely, 35% negotiated their separation through the court or via solicitors, suggesting that awareness of the benefits and availability of mediation is lacking.
In response to the survey, Beverley Sayers of the Family Mediators Association commented:
“This research reinforces what many of us in the mediation profession are experiencing on a daily basis. People simply aren’t aware of the options available to them when they separate or divorce, but – as the research findings show – people who make informed decisions based on information and knowledge are generally happier with the outcome of their separation.
At Frances Lindsay & Co our experienced family lawyers aim to provide a comprehensive range of options for separating couples, enabling them to make informed choices about their dispute resolution at every stage. We also offer fixed-fee legal services to allow clients to budget realistically for their separation, along with expert advice on children’s issues, finances and property. Get in touch to find out how we can help at www.franceslindsay.co.uk.divorce solicitor Beaconsfield, divorce solicitor Maidenhead, mediation solicitor Thames Valley, out of court separation Windsor