When a relationship breaks down it can create worries about security and the financial future. Fortunately, this is an area where working with a professional mediator can bring tremendous benefit to you both. Both in terms of the length of negotiations and the costs benefits of negotiating in mediation rather than traditional solicitor led negotiations.
If the mediation concerns the division of marital assets, you will be expected to engage in ‘full and frank’ financial disclosure – i.e. each of you will be expected to provide accurate and comprehensive information about your finances. If matters go to court, then this is what is legally expected of you. We will therefore ask you to complete Financial Disclosure Booklets and bring these with you to the first session. If you have already completed Form Es (usually via solicitors), these forms can be used as an alternative.
When considering financial and property issues the mediator will help you to;
• Clarify the details of your property and finances so that it is clear what the family financial picture looks like. It is not at all unusual for a separating couple to not know all of the details of their own and each other’s property, income and expenditure. This financial clarification is achieved through completing the Financial Disclosure Booklets. Your mediator will discuss this with you in detail at your Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAMs).
• Prioritise the issues that are important to you
• Identify areas of agreement and difference in your conception of a fair and equitable outcome. It may be that some things are clear cut and others may be more complex and need further investigation
• Identify any further documents or information that may be required and provide signposting assistance to obtain it
• Explore and consider the various options to find a custom solution for your situation that is fair and reasonable to you both
• Formulate proposals acceptable to both of you. For instance, is the house to be sold now or at a future stage? How do you divide the proceeds?