If you are thinking of separating, or have already separated, there may be a lot of financial and property issues to sort out. This might be immediate concerns about who will pay the bills and mortgage on the family home or any debts and it might be the longer term issues of division of assets and property, maintenance, pensions and savings and responsibility for debts. It can be a worrying time, trying to work out who will live where and how you will pay all the bills, and if there is a lot of conflict and little or no communication between you, it can feel impossible to sort things out.
Mediation can help you sort out all of your financial and property issues and is much quicker and cheaper than going to court.
A mediator will work with you to help you work through all of your financial issues, look at all of the options available and then decide what is the best way forward.
You understand your family's needs best. Our experienced mediators will help you discuss your financial needs alongside any concerns you have about your children so that you can resolve all of your issues. We can help you to focus on practical matters that need to be sorted out and agree proposals that are realistic.
Our mediators will help you exchange all of your financial information - this is called financial disclosure. When you are discussing your finances and making long term arrangements for your family, it is important that you have full information about the financial situation. Gathering this information might involve things like getting information about your savings and bank accounts, or pensions, or a valuation of your home or other properties. The mediator will explain to you the information that you need in your particular circumstances.
The mediator will help you explore all of the possible options that might be available to you and help you to look at whether those options are realistic and meet the needs of your family.
The mediator will give you lots of information, which will include legal information, about things such as pensions and how you can deal with them, the different ways you can deal with the family home and child maintenance information.
These are just examples of the kinds of information the mediator will give. The mediator will give the information that is relevant to your particular situation so that you are able to make informed decisions about all the choices available to you to help you choose the best way forward for you and your family.
Reaching Acceptable Proposals
Once you have reached proposals that are acceptable, your mediator will prepare a summary of the proposals - called a Memorandum of Understanding - which explains the proposals you have reached and details the financial information you have exchanged.
It is important in financial matters that your proposals are made into a legally binding agreement, which is usually a separation agreement or a document called a consent order if you are getting divorced.. Your solicitors can prepare this from the memorandum and we can liaise with your solicitors about this.
If your are getting Legal Aid for mediation, your solicitor will be able to prepare the consent order free of charge for you under the terms of your Legal Aid - your mediator will explain this to you and arrange this with your solicitor. See our section about Legal Aid.
Even where there is a lot of conflict and hostility, or communication has broken down completely, mediation can help change the situation to one where you are able to communicate again and work together to make mutually acceptable decisions about the future and your finances.
Remember where children are involved, research has shown that children can suffer long term emotional harm where there is a lot of conflict, whereas children benefit where parents are able to communicate effectively and minimise conflict.
We can help you make that change.