Mediation described step by step. Part 8: Completing disclosureFamily 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 8 of this series, I will describe what is needed to complete the process of disclosure.
Think of disclosure as an inventory of all of a family’s assets and liabilities. For most people, the list of assets includes things like:
- Properties you own
- Savings and current accounts
- Stocks, shares or bonds
- Businesses and other similar assets
- Any debts or liabilities of either of you
You will need to gather any documentation relating to any of these assets you in mediation your mediator will use them to compile a full accounting of all your debts and liabilities. Importantly, during this phase discussions about how you might share these assets between you are put on hold. This is so that any discussions towards a settlement solutions are made only after you both clearly understand the full picture and you know that nothing is missing or is being withheld from the list.
Using the abridged Form E you can find in our resources section, in most cases to help our clients complete the process of disclosure in a single, two hour meeting. To save you time and money we that that you bring with you 3 copies of each document with you to mediation. This way as we go through things we can prepare 3 complete sets of all your financial documents. One for each of you, and one for the mediator. This simple task results in savings of several thousand pounds over the method solicitors employ. Once this is completed, you will both sign a document confirming that you have provided all of the information required. If it is later discovered an individual has not disclosed any assets in their name or control they are opening themselves up for penalties by the court.
Immediately after compiling this full financial picture, and before the next session, your mediator will prepare a schedule of your assets and liabilities that you can both rely on. It is with this information that we are able to begin to discuss options for settlement. This process is the subject of the next blog in this series. 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.