Victoria – London
Divorce petition after mediation, seeing things differently, metaphor process, keeping communication going, avoiding court
(Names in this divorce story have been changed to protect privacy)
I was recommended to contact Diana a year ago by my sister and brother-in-law who had found her advice very helpful. She also helped my niece when she was a child.
My husband saw Diana early on but I only met her after we had been working together on the phone for many months. Throughout the time of our separation Diana has always been there to talk to with reassurance and to make sense of what I am going through.
She is very acute and can make you see things in a totally different way. My husband had acted in a way that did not just affect our marriage but also my wider family. I have been helped to see that what he did was not aimed at me but rather that I was ‘collateral damage’. His state of mind was to blame. Diana is interested in how the whole family is coping and makes suggestions for helping everyone.
Her mantras work and I am realising – slowly – the power the mind has to overcome endless negative thoughts with positive ones. Diana also did a metaphor process with me about how my husband was making me feel when we met to talk. The next time I saw him I was able to tell him that I felt he was bombarding me, which helped. I can still conjure up the mental image Diana helped me see – it is almost dreamlike.
Diana referred us to a Financial Mediator and we had six mediation sessions. It took a long time to fill in the forms but it was worth it and they could also be used by our Solicitors for the court order, so nothing more was necessary.
The Mediator was impartial and would not talk to either of us on the phone except to make appointments or for general help with those forms. We were able to argue over things and I never felt that he was taking the man’s side, which I think my husband hoped would happen and I was worried might happen.
I would recommend going to mediation because it is inexpensive compared with going to court, and I felt safe. The Mediator was not interested in what had happened, or the emotional stuff. This enabled us to talk dispassionately about the financial side. If things began to get difficult, we would have a break and then carry on. The Mediator always ended on a positive note, so that we came away in a reasonable frame of mind, even if we were wrung out.
I waited until we had resolved financial matters before issuing my behaviour petition so as not to inflame the situation. We have avoided the acrimony and expense of going to court as we have been able to talk to each other despite the very difficult circumstances in which our marriage ended.
You might also be interested in reading the ‘Legal Structure of Divorce’ a two-minute guide to divorce proceedings.