Written by Brynne Edelsten
Brynne Edelsten’s ‘brutal’ divorce, a lifestyle choice over divorce mediation?
US-Born Brynne Edelsten described her divorce as “nasty and brutal”, leading her to declare she “would never be friends” with the former Sydney Swans owner as she battled to finalise her financial settlement. But conflict creates stress – both financial and emotional – which is why divorce mediation could have made Brynne’s experience of divorce very different..
Samantha Jago, Divorce Mediator and Solicitor at RHW Solicitors, believes that the emotional, health and financial costs of divorce can be transformed by making a different choice, which is why she offers a Fixed-Fee Mediation service.
The stress of an unhappy marriage has knock-on effects on health and finances, often leading to poor eating habits and, sometimes, the need to take medication for depression – all of which can lead to weight gain. Socialite Brynne Edelsten revealed recently that she put on 20kgs during her marriage to Geoffrey Edelsten, which she managed to lose after the “hideous” split. She blamed the weight gain on the medication she was taking.
But her divorce seems to have been even more unhappy than her marriage – so although Brynne lost weight and boosted her self esteem as her divorce came to a close, she also lost many thousands in legal fees.
While for many, divorces are a painful process, calls for conflict-free divorce have been on the increase since the 1990s when moves to cut legal aid began. However, a government in austerity is focused on the short-term cost savings, often at the expense of fair settlements.
Amicable settlement is certainly something to aim for, but not at the cost of fairness, and seeking legal advice in the first place is still the best way to prevent long-term heartache – and choosing your mediator wisely.
Samantha comments that: “A MIAMs is compulsory before any Court application can be made in any event, so it is worth taking it one step further and booking in for a mediation session with your ex.”
“Recent research has shown that the cost of legal services is plagued by a serious lack of transparency, and with the limited budget situation families face during separation, it’s important that they know from the outset that the costs of mediation will remain manageable. An unexpected large legal bill would only add to the stress of divorce and the negative health effects that can result.”
In reality, mediation is not about making quick easy decisions that you will later regret. It is about creating a sustainable long-term agreement on how two people will now live separately – and if they have children, how they will continue to collaborate peacefully.