More on @***$%#ng bad language

I have had a good response to my previous post on language. The language used in divorce and separation is so important.

The previous blog was about solicitors winding up their clients and giving unrealistic expectations. Would you believe, I still see letters headed in the style Smith v Smith. Whilst this is a shorthand, it is bad practice, it says to the couple that they are locked in combat with each other. Better Smith and Smith. But even better; Your Client Mr Smith Our Client Mrs Smith. The tone is very different. But is this news?  Smith v Smith was bad practice 20 years ago, So why do people still do it?

On the subject of language, it is one of the keys to a successful mediation. When they get to me in my office in Honiton, the couple are stuck in conflict. This usually involves a destructive cycle of mistrust, bad communication, unreliability and inflexibility. This can involve bad language directed toward each other as well.

My job as a mediator is to help them stop this cycle and to create a positive cycle where a couple reset their relationship to that of cooperative parents. This usually means agreeing to a series of incremental steps, working toward a common goal. I have assisted couples who have failed with other mediation services, but with me have moved from no contact, to having regular and good arrangements, and with the parents meeting regularly for a coffee, with diaries to work out ongoing dates together. Have a look at my page;

Obviously mediation needs to be safe. Look out for a further post on domestic abuse and safety in a few days or so.

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