Archive for the ‘Court’ Tag

Anna’s story – What happens when your relationship breaks down?   Leave a comment

I was married for 11 years and had two daughters with my husband.  When we separated and I knew wouldn’t have been able to afford the mortgage repayments on my own, as well as the debt we had got into.  That was one of the reasons for not ending the marriage sooner because I couldn’t see a way out of it really.

About two years before we actually separated I said to my husband I want out, I‘ve had enough.  There were other factors, but part of the reason for staying was that I didn’t see how I would survive with two children, I didn’t know what I could do, I couldn’t see a way out of it.  We were in debt, we were half way through an extension that went wrong; there were so many different things, as well as money issues.         . 

You feel financially strangled, it fixes you to what you know.   As bad as it was, it somehow felt safer to stay in something that I knew was not right and was not good, than to think there may be a way out of this but it would mean losing my house, my children’s home – it was all those things as well.

Not only are you ending your marriage with their father, but they’ll lose their bedroom. The children’s bedrooms were important to them, my eldest more so than my youngest as she has a few issues with change anyway – so to uproot her, to uproot her from school, was difficult. 

I got the point when I just snapped one day, I thought enough is enough, it can’t go on like this.  I think something did snap inside me and I thought anything has got to be better than this.  Somehow I’ll work a  way, and if I have to sell, it’s got to be better than my children growing up in an unhappy house, that’s just unhealthy.

My husband moved out and rented a two bedroom flat nearby.  Because of his debt, he had no way to pay it back, unless we sold the house.  I couldn’t afford to buy him out.  We sold the house last Spring.  My husband cleared his debts.  And I had enough to put down a deposit on somewhere else.  I was very lucky. 

Everybody’s situation is different but the worst thing you can to is to stay. If the relationship has broken down, then staying for anything, for financial reasons or for the children, you just get deeper and deeper into a horrible situation. 

Seek advice, speak to someone, use free legal advice.  The worst thing you can do is to stay.   Once I’d made the decision to leave it was a relief. I spoke to a mediator which allowed me to look at all the options I was facing following the separation. We used mediation to sort out arrangements related to our separation. It was tough, but we did it.

The biggest fear for me was the unknown.  My parents and grandparents are still together.  Separation has never happened in my family. All those pressures compounded and made it worse.  But once I had decided enough was enough it was like a weight lifted, and I could then deal with everything else.  When I ended the relationship it then gave me the strength to deal with all the other things. 

If you’re worried about ending a relationship contact us for further information. We also help people work out agreements following separation. You can also get in touch with Shelter who provide advice on options for homeowners and for tenants


Divorce rates increase as family resolve struggles to withstand   Leave a comment


The number of divorces in England and Wales have slightly increased by 0.5% since 2011 – as shown by the latest figures out today from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Jane Robey, Chief Executive Officer of National Family Mediation, the largest provider of family mediation in the U.K. responded by stating:

“In 2011 we saw the divorce rates hit an all-time low. The theory was that couples couldn’t afford to split as a result of the recession. Now we see divorce rates are rising. Is this as a result of the anecdotal green shoots of economic recovery or because breaking point has been reached?”

“Nobody plans for a divorce and it can be emotionally, financially and practically challenging but the sustained pressure of the economic recession with job losses redundancy, financial insecurity and huge hike in cost of living will have tested many families resolve to the limits. Sadly the ONS figures indicate that many families have reached tipping point and cannot withstand anymore”.

Families past the talking point need affordable expert advice and information to be able to move forward. National Family Mediation understands all too well the impact and expense of divorce and the effect conflict created by relationship breakdown can have on families.

Going through the process of divorce can cause great uncertainty to all members of the family, and at such a stressful time, many couples find it difficult to talk to each other about their concerns and the plans they need to make.

Family Mediation can help because it gives you a private and supportive setting to talk through all the issues surrounding your divorce or separation. Simon Hughes, Justice Minister, supports this view:

“”[The government is] committed to making sure that more people make use of it rather than go through the confrontational and stressful experience of going to court.”

“That is why we want them to use the excellent mediation services available to agree a way forward, rather than have one forced upon them.”

Professionally, trained mediators provide you with the tools to untangle all the strands around family breakdown, whether it is before, during or after the event, and offer you a structured process that enables you to focus on your practical plans for the future.

Robey adds: “National Family Mediation aims to help families adjust to the change that relationship breakdown brings with minimum distress and conflict, with the welfare of children in these families being paramount”.

 Editors Notes:

  1. According to the ONS release in 2012 – the latest year published – there were a total of 118,140 divorces, a slight increase on 2011, when there were 117,558 (ONS).
  2. Of the 2012 total, almost half of these divorces occurred in the first 10 years of marriage, with divorces most likely to occur between the fourth and eighth wedding anniversary. 71% of divorces were for first marriages (ONS).
  3. National Family Mediation has a network of accredited family mediation services delivering in over 500 locations across England, Wales and the Channel Islands. Our services are proven to reduce the conflict in separation, help families avoid lengthy and costly court battles and provide a more affordable and quicker route than traditional legal remedies.
  4. Couples that use National Family Mediation typically take just over three months to finalise their divorce or separation while cases that go to court take four times longer.
  5. National Family Mediation is also considerably more affordable, especially as we are able to offer legal aid to eligible clients in mediation.
  6. National Family Mediation’s professionally accredited family mediators can help families resolve all the practical, legal, emotional and financial issues that arise from separation. Most importantly, NFM can help families make long lasting arrangements that benefit their children.