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New report reveals a quarter wished for mediation or arbitration as answer to divorce

Over three-quarters of people found their divorce stressful while a quarter wished they'd chosen another way to end their marriage, a new report has found as part of Irwin Mitchell's campaign to do divorce differently.

The survey by OnePoll polled 1,000 divorcees about their experience of getting divorced, and whether their relationship ending had been amicable, in a bid to discover how widely known alternative dispute resolution (ADR) was. The results were clear that divorce is often a challenging process for the people involved. Three in ten divorcees recall 'lots' of arguments during the process, while four in ten wished they had a friendlier relationship with their ex-spouse.

When it came to awareness of ADR, almost four in ten (39 per cent) didn't know what ADR was at the time of their divorce, while over a third (35 per cent) weren't offered ADR as an alternative way of resolving their dispute. A quarter (25 per cent) regretted not using mediation and arbitration services to end their relationship, highlighting the need for the family law sphere to signpost to these alternatives.

Irwin Mitchell's new report, Divorce – Let's do it differently, aims to highlight to both clients and family lawyers the different types of ADR available for couples who would prefer to stay away from court.

The survey was discussed at a roundtable, hosted by Joshua Rozenberg and Irwin Mitchell including former Supreme Court judge Lord Wilson; barristers and specialist arbitrators Nicholas Allen QC and Janet Bazley QC; Family Law in Partnership's Gillian Bishop, and Director of Legal Services (Family) at Irwin Mitchell, Ros Bever.

There was a consensus among the panellists that there were three advantages of ADR: control, cost and cooperation. Their expert analysis of the ADR landscape can be found in the report.

For the report, click here.