How Mediation Works

 

Meditation is a future focused, three-way process that requires you to imagine and plan for your, and your children's, lives henceforth. In mediation sessions, we will collaboratively explore and consider different options and possibilities as to how that life might look, and how the property and assets acquired jointly during the course of your life together will be divided. Together with the mediator, you will also jointly develop the framework or ground rules that will govern your lives post-separation, particularly with regard to contact and living arrangement for your children, if appropriate.

When it comes to minor children, I emphasize a child-centered approach, constantly reminding people that the interests of the children are paramount and that even though you may be going forward as a "free" adult after divorce, the two of you will be co-parents for the rest of your lives, and that there will be many occasions in the future where you will be required to interact as such.

Good preparation is key for smooth progression and saves time and costs. Full and frank financial disclosure is a lynchpin of divorce and family law in the U.K. A substantial part of the process will involve establishing the financial situation of the marriage or civil partnership. This means you will need to disclose proof of income such as your most recent pay slip or P60, and proof of all your assets and debts, such as recent savings, current account statements and mortgage and loan account statements. If there is a family home, this will need to be valued.

Also please be advised that when pensions are involved, parties will be required to request a CETV (cash equivalent transfer value) declaration from the relevant pension scheme/s, which can take up to six weeks to provide.

It is also helpful to record all your outgoings and consider how needs and expenses may change post-divorce or separation. Budgeting is an important component of the mediation process. Typically, the adjustment period post-divorce, can involve the setting up and furnishing of a new household, which can have significant impact on current spending capacity.

During your first session, each of you will be seen separately for approximately 15 minutes,so as to record basic information, for the principles of mediation to be outlined, and for an assessment to made as to whether your situation is indeed suitable for mediation or not. If you both thereafter wish to proceed, we will sign an agreement to mediate and begin by prioritizing issues that you both wish to have addressed. We will also set an agenda for future sessions.

Typically most mediations require three to five sessions to reach finality, although in cases that are more complex, this timescale could vary.

Two important documents will be drawn up by myself, and signed by both of you during the process. The first of these is the open financial statement, which outlines all the joint assets and liabilities of the marriage or civil partnership., and which will be seen by the judge granting the final decree of divorce. The second is the memorandum of understanding (MOU), which lays out the terms of the settlement agreed to in mediation, and explains the logic behind the decisions made.

Please see the contact section and get in touch should you wish to make enquiries or schedule an appointment.

 

 

Written by : Chris Yaffes