The good divorce

Is there a way to get divorced and stay reasonably civilised, even if kids and money are involved?

We, at beterscheiden say there is. Some 15.000 couples in the Netherlands used mediation instead of the courts to settle their divorces last year. Rather than each party fork € 250,- an hour for legal counsel parties can enlist a mediation service. The total cost if they go through mediation can vary from € 1500,- to € 10.000 depending on various aspects.

Mediation is not navel gazing counselling, nor is it adversial, legalistic fighting. It is completely focused on practical arrangements for the future. Couples who can sit down together in a room and negotiate terms in an controlled environment are far more likely to get along in the future. They are encouraged to focus on what they can do, not what they cannot. The beneficiaries are those they never stop loving- their children. It is about learning to communicate and cooperate as parents, not as spouses.

Divorces may have to end in court, but they do not have to be settled there. Cynics nay think it is in the interest of € 500,- an-hour lawyer to drag things out in the drama of the courtroom. But as beterscheiden points out, an agreement reached outside court may leave both parties reasonably contented, whereas in court, they hand over control over their lives to a judge. Often a decision is reached that both parties are unhappy with. 

So can you have a civilised divorce? beterscheiden will tell you how.