When a couple separates or divorces, they need to make decisions on many issues including:
- Which spouse gets to stay in their shared home
- Children care, education and where they will live and with whom
- Financial support for spouses
- A fair division of all assets including money, property and other assets
It is advisable that the spouses discuss amongst themselves to come up with possible arrangements which are mutually agreed upon. If no agreement is reached on the issues, intervention may be needed from a mediator, arbitrator, lawyer or courts.
Separation agreement lists down all the issues which are mutually agreed upon by the spouses. The agreement can be drafted for all issues which spouses have agreed upon, without the need to wait for their problems to be sorted out.
It is better if spouses opt for legal advice before signing the separation agreement to safeguard their rights and interests. The agreement has to be abided by both the spouses once its mutually agreed and signed.
Mediation is a method of helping spouses identify their issues and assist them to work towards their mutually agreed solutions. Whenever spouses are not able to resolve their issues on their own, a mediator may be able to help in establishing communication between them.
Trained family mediators can help spouses to resolve issues regarding separation, parenting, divorce, support payments, a division of property and much more. They are third parties and neutral in nature.
Mediation is a process which can be used to resolve disputes before litigation is considered. Once an agreement is reached in the stage of mediation, it is advisable that you review it with your lawyer before signing the documents.
Arbitration is a process in which a neutral, third party helps the spouses discuss their issues. The arbitrator is empowered to take a decision in case spouses are unable to do so. Their decisions are legally valid, binding on both the parties and equivalent to a court order.