What to do if your divorce is in ‘deadlock’

The Ant McPartlin divorce is back in the news again. It has been reported that the divorce is in ‘deadlock’, with the parties unable to reach an agreement on a financial settlement.

We don’t know the details of what is happening in the McPartlin divorce, but obviously it is not uncommon that matters grind to a halt without an agreement being reached. What can you do if this happens to you?

The first thing to say is that you cannot force the other party to put forward settlement proposals, or to respond to any proposals you make. However, the court will usually take a very dim view of any party that does not make a reasonable effort to negotiate, and may ultimately penalise them with a costs order.

If the other party simply refuses to enter into negotiation then you may have no alternative other than to take the matter to court. Similarly, if the parties are so far apart in their proposals that agreement seems impossible, then again it may be necessary to take the matter to court. However, in that instance there are alternatives.

The first alternative is mediation. This is a voluntary process whereby a trained mediator will try to help the parties settle matters by agreement, even if they seem way apart. If an agreement can be reached then it will be made into a binding court order.

Another alternative is arbitration. This is different from mediation, in that the arbitrator’s decision will be binding, and therefore arbitration will definitely bring the case to a conclusion. Arbitration is again voluntary, but it can be much quicker than going to court.

For further information about resolving matters out of court, see this post.

If your divorce seems to be going nowhere, there are steps that you can take to break the deadlock. Family Law Cafe can help you to do this. To book a free initial consultation with us click the green button at the top of this page and fill in the form, or call us on 020 3904 0506.

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Family Law Cafe offers a modern, agile and compassionate approach to family law, giving you a helping hand when you need it and guiding you through the complexities of this difficult and stressful area.

Image of Anthony McPartlin by Ben Salter (From Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.