Q. My partner and I are going through a divorce. His lawyers have issued proceedings and now I have a court date. I don’t really want to go to court because our relationship is still civil and I think we can sort this out ourselves. I’ve heard of mediation, but is it too late for that now?
No, it is never too late for mediation. You can attend mediation in parallel to the court proceedings and at any time. You can try mediation to resolve any of the issues that are before the court or you can ask the mediator to deal with any discrete issues that may arise. It is a flexible process that can be designed around you and your partner. I would suggest you contact a mediator (the Family Mediation Council can help you find one in your area if you do not have a recommendation) and have an initial and brief discussion with the mediator about the issues between you and your partner. If you are content with the mediator, pass the details on to your partner and ask him if he would consider the process. If he agrees, a mediation can be arranged to try and help you resolve the issues between you without the need for court involvement or to narrow the issues that the court is being asked to consider. If your partner agrees, you can then adjourn the court proceedings to see if you can resolve the issues through mediation or cancel the proceedings altogether.