Divorce and family mediation

The decision to separate is always difficult and painful. You are parting ways and this involves new agreements about finances, children, household effects, the house and other practical matters. If you have decided together to go through a divorce mediator, there is a good chance that the process will be handled with care and respect by both parties. Under the guidance of a divorce mediator, (soon-to-be) ex-partners can make their own arrangements about the consequences of the divorce or break-up of the cohabitation. Mediation can also be used after a divorce if there is a difference of opinion (for example, about the amount of alimony or a change to the care arrangement). The mediator brings the parties together and guides them in finding a solution.

How does divorce mediation work?

Divorce mediation is ideal for soon-to-be ex-partners who want to arrange the consequences of their divorce in mutual consultation. Under the mediator’s guidance, they hold discussions with each other. During these talks, the mediator helps the parties to reach an agreement by informing them of the legal possibilities and their rights and obligations. In addition to the legal aspects of the case, the mediator also looks at any underlying (emotional/relational) problems. In this way, the parties are supported in breaking through patterns in the mutual communication that stand in the way of reaching a solution. Mediation can therefore contribute to restoring or improving the mutual understanding and/or communication. This is in contrast to legal proceedings, which often have the opposite effect.

A successful mediation leads to the signing of a document (called a covenant) containing the agreements made by the parties. With the help of this covenant, the judge can pronounce the divorce, without this being preceded by a costly and time-consuming legal procedure. The advantage of our mediators is that they are all lawyers as well and have successfully completed the specialist training of the Association of Family and Inheritance Lawyers Divorce Mediators (vFAS). This means that they can guide and advise you throughout the entire process, including on legal matters, and also take care of drawing up the covenant with the parenting plan and submitting the divorce application to the court.

For more information on the mediation method, we refer you to the Verder-Online website.

Collaborative divorce

Collaborative divorce is a special form of mediation and is suitable for partners who are divorcing and want to arrange this properly in a respectful manner under expert supervision. For each other and any children. With clear and future-proof agreements as a result. This is also possible for partners who are not married. In a collaborative divorce, both parties have their own lawyer. This feels familiar and provides the necessary balance at the table which is sometimes not present in a mediation under the supervision of one mediator. In addition, the parties are accompanied by a coach and (if desired) a financial expert. In short: the future ex-partners are assisted by a multidisciplinary team that guides them in making the agreements, each from his or her own expertise. The professionals in the team constantly focus on finding solutions. Also for those difficult issues that you can’t solve together. We know from experience that the chances are very small that a long court procedure will still be necessary. Litigation is costly, delays and often results in a major breach of trust.

On behalf of our firm, Marc van Opstal and Agnes van Wieren are members of the Association of Collaborative Professionals (VvCP). On the website of the VvCP you can find more information about this unique way of divorce. You can also read about the experiences of others there.