According to a January 2018 survey by Aviva insurance (hyperlink to report reference), the average person using lawyers and courts, spends over £14,500 to reach a divorce settlement and the Court process can take many months. Using the courts to settle property claims for unmarried couples can cost even more.
In contrast Family Financial Mediation typically costs each participant less than £1,000, meetings are scheduled at a time that works for you and participants, including unmarried couples, can reach a settlement on a range of money and property issues such as:
- Future living arrangements
- Property shares and selling decisions
- Dividing bank accounts, savings and investments
- How debts and liabilities will be paid
- Child Maintenance and realistic, sustainable, financial provision for your children’s future
- Spousal Maintenance for former wives, husbands or civil partners
- Pensions on Divorce
- Handling of inheritances, redundancy money and financial windfalls.
Mediation is not merely an accounting exercise and you don’t have to be ‘good with figures’ or an experienced negotiator to benefit from this step by step process. It is designed to help you reach the decisions that work for you and your family without the hassle, expense and uncertainty of attending Court.
During the mediation process you are both encouraged to share information, so each person fully understands the financial situation and available options. Everyone is also encouraged to get financial and legal advice to support their decisions when needed.
Rules around confidentiality, and the requirement that couples going through divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership give full and frank disclosure of financial information, are designed to ensure settlements are based on both needs and financial facts. Settlement proposals are written in plain English, do not become binding and cannot be revealed to a Court, until everyone has taken legal advice and agreed that they want to be bound by the proposed settlement terms.
You can choose Financial Mediation as a freestanding option, if that’s all you need to resolve, or as part of a combined All Issues Family Mediation package covering Arrangements for Children, Separation/Divorce and Finances if you have more to sort out.
What is Involved?
An initial free phone call ensures your issues can be covered by the Mediation process and that basic suitability criteria are present. The family and civil Court rules now require that, subject to certain limited exceptions, anyone seeking a financial order must explore the possibility of mediation.
Unless your situation is exempt, you and your former partner will be invited to attend an initial assessment meeting (MIAM) either together, or separately if you prefer, so you can each explain what issues you are hoping to resolve and be given information about the Mediator’s role and the mediation process. You will also receive information about alternatives to mediation and sources of further help. Your initial meeting is confidential, and there is no obligation on you to continue if you don’t want to.
Don’t worry if figures and filling in forms aren’t your forte, it’s part of my role to ensure that both clients understand the information and issues we’re talking about. I will discuss with both of you how we can tailor the process to meet your needs, how to access sources of Financial Advice and Help hyperlink when you need it, and what to do to prepare for mediation. Meetings are scheduled with sensible intervals and reminders are provided to enable everyone to prepare for the next session.
Why not request a call-back now to find out more about reaching a Financial Settlement.