Inevitability of divorce leading to debt is a myth, says charity
 
A leading family charity says a new survey, indicating a third of divorcees expect to retire owing money, highlights the ‘myth’ that getting a divorce inevitably causes debt.
 
New research published by The Prudential shows 32 per cent of people who have been divorced expect to be in debt when they retire, compared with just one in five of those who have never divorced.
 
Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation, says the research underlines the flawed approach that people who are separating often take when it comes to settling their differences.
 
“This survey again highlights the widely-held belief in this country that divorce will necessarily bring debt that lasts into retirement,” she said.
 
“It’s a very well-established expectation, but it’s a myth, because it doesn’t have to be that way.
 
“We have over 30 years’ experience of supporting families agree settlements after they have decided to separate. Our experience shows that the traditional way of managing divorce –paying a solicitor handsomely to pit their wits against your ex’s lawyer – is usually very damaging indeed for the bank balance of both people involved.
 
“Year after year far too many divorcing couples fall into the trap. There is a better way to manage divorce, and it’s one that will leave both of people in far better financial shape meaning, crucially, they’re better able to support their children’s futures.
 
“Family mediation is a much cheaper way to manage a separation. It’s quicker too, and because the emphasis is on making the best possible parenting, property and money arrangements for everyone affected, it’s far less stressful too.”
 
Family mediation is a short, time-limited intervention that helps people resolve all the legal and emotional aspects of a divorce or separation. Legal Aid is available for family mediation for people with limited income.
 
Couples who 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. Data from Legal Aid cases show the average cost per client of mediation is £535 compared to £2,823 for cases going to court. 
 
National Audit Office figures on legally-aided mediation show that the average time for a mediated case to be completed is 110 days, compared to 435 days for court cases on similar issues.
 
To read the Prudential report use this link

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