When a relationship comes to an end, we know how difficult it can be. At Anthony Collins Solicitors, our family mediators understand how hard separation is and have many years experience in helping separated couples find workable solutions themselves. This limits the stress and upset that these difficult situations can cause.
Although the process of family mediation is managed by a family mediator, the content is set by the separating couple. The family mediator will not make decisions or give advice, but they will assist in negotiations, giving legal information in an effort to encourage settlement. This allows the separating couple to work out the arrangements for themselves and, where applicable, for their children. Access to legal advice is very important at all stages in family mediation. Prior to an initial session, parties may need advice about the process of family mediation itself, what to expect and what can/cannot, be achieved within the family mediation process. We can help you with that.
In financial matters, family mediation requires full and frank disclosure of financial information. Without the family mediator knowing what there is, he or she cannot help parties consider how finances need to be divided. Disclosure is usually provided in one of two ways: either by the completion of a financial booklet (provided by the family mediators), or a more formal court form known as ‘form E‘. If required, we give impartial information to help parties to complete these forms.
In both documents, as well as providing disclosure, parties will be asked to provide summaries of their income needs. We can assist parties in completing these summaries and ensuring the same are accurate and realistic. After completing disclosure, disclosure is exchanged via the mediator.
Sometimes the value of assets are unclear and it is commonplace for solicitors to identify gaps and signpost clients to specific experts can help e.g. pension providers and valuers. Subsequently, this can then be used in family mediation.
At the end of family mediation, where conclusions are reached, family mediators will draw up a Memorandum of Understanding, and in financial matters, an open financial statement. The documents help both you and your legal adviser to understand what conclusions have been reached, but also how you reached them. They can then be used by your legal adviser to create binding legal agreements.
We are happy to talk to you about family mediation for couples and how it could work for you. We also provide family mediation services for:
For further information
We’ve produced a glossary of family mediation terms to help you get started.
Other organisations that can support you with marriage counselling, citizens advice, domestic violence and parenting support can be found here.