Family mediation is here to stay. But how does it work? What actually happens? How can you make sure the settlements reached are fair, and what do couples who mediate have to do? The purpose of this 12-part series is to attempt to answer those questions specifically – at least as it applies for those who choose New Landscape Mediation to help them create their solutions.
Whether we are working with clients from our main offices near Stansted airport in Essex, our offices in central London or in Cambridge, this series of blogs will better help you to understand how we go about saving our clients up to £20,000 each over a more traditional, solicitor led settlement solution. Here in part 1 of this series, you will find a brief overview of what mediation is all about.
The process of mediation is rarely described and often quite misunderstood – even by family solicitors. Mediation is a method of creating solutions to a wide range of disputes. This ranges from neighbours fighting over ownership of the tree at the bottom of the garden to countries agreeing a ceasefire. Family mediation helps divorcing couples reach fair and workable financial settlements, and/or create co-parenting plans in a way that keeps them away from costly and traumatic court processes. In doing this, mediation usually saves couples several thousand pounds in legal fees and allows them to reach a solution within weeks, as opposed to months, or even years of legal wrangling.
This process is achieved by the mediator taking each couple they work with through a series of steps. No two couples have the same difficulties to resolve and this is why we first conduct a private meeting with you both to ascertain what your specific needs are. Having said this, there are some common elements in the process for all of our clients. For example, for those who need to achieve a financial settlement the fundamental steps are:
- Ensure you both have a full and complete understanding of your entire assets and liabilities (This is called financial disclosure)
- Determine a fair division of assets and allocation of debt
- Determine whether there is to be ongoing financial support from one party to the other (Including determining how much that support is and how long it goes on for)
- Determine the appropriate amount of child maintenance (where applicable)
For couples with children:
- Ensure that both parents are working for the overall well-being of their children
- Create a set of arrangements for the children that enable them to continue to receive the love and support of both parents
The specifics of these processes will be described in detail over the rest of this series starting from the very first phone call to New Landscape Mediation right through to receiving your final documents detailing the solutions arrived at.
The next blog in this series will discuss what happens when you first make contact with the service. If you would like more information about any aspect of this series, please contact our offices on 01279 211 657 or send us an email for a fully confidential discussion of your needs.