Upon the breakdown of a marriage or cohabitation, there are important decisions to be made about the future, relating to arrangements for any children of the relationship, the family home and any other property, how to deal with assets and liabilities. For example, there may be concerns over whether the family home will have to be sold, how joint debts are to be managed, or about the apportionment of pensions, savings or investments.
Family mediation gives participants the opportunity to discuss and consider all available options in a safe and neutral setting before reaching a final decision. In mediation, you remain in control; no decisions will be imposed upon you. Our Family Mediators are skilled in helping separating couples explore all options thoroughly, examining the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal.
Mediation dealing with property and/or finances proceeds on the basis that there is full and frank financial disclosure from each participant. Financial disclosure is, in fact, required whichever route divorcing couples choose to take – mediation, negotiation through solicitors or litigation. This is because the financial disclosure sets the context for discussions about your respective proposals. You would not be able to determine whether or not a suggestion was fair unless all cards had been put on the table.
All points of agreement are noted in a Memorandum of Understanding or Statement of Outcome at the conclusion of the process. A settlement agreed upon in mediation can be made legally binding as part of your divorce proceedings.
Mediation is far quicker and less expensive than litigation, particularly over financial issues. Whilst participants are encouraged to obtain independent legal advice at certain points during the process, the use of a solicitor can be targeted, as particular points for advice will be identified during the mediation sessions, thus helping to keep legal bills to a minimum.
Arrangements for the children
When a relationship between parents breaks down, it is usually a priority to set up clear arrangements for the children involved.
Research has shown that children can be more adversely affected by uncertainty or by acrimony between their parents than by the fact of the separation itself.
Global Mediation can offer help with the following:
- Where the children are to live;
- How their time is to be shared between their parents;
- How to explain to children about the changes to be made;
- How to communicate effectively as separated parents;
- Contact between the children and extended family members;
- Child support.
Mediation generally helps to improve communication between parents, enabling them to go forward with a good ‘working’ parenting relationship for the future.
Parenting plans formulated by mutual consent, following full and frank discussion can help restore understanding and trust between parents and assist in moving them on emotionally as well as practically.
Sometimes relationships between family members break down and can be difficult to resolve. Mediation offers the chance to meet in a neutral setting with an experienced, impartial mediator, enabling participants to examine their differences from all angles, helping them to find a mutually acceptable way forward.
Alternatively, for further information about our mediation services, phone 0800 064 4488.
Example of cases mediated
- Family shipping business breakdown dispute over loans and guarantees given by individuals to other members of the family during the course of the business
- Family property breakdown and dispute over ownership and distribution of assets
- Conflicts within families as they continue to live together or work through arrangements to separate
- A disagreement about inter-party share entitlements
- A number regarding private school fees disputes
- A number of disputes involving mortgage liability and contributions
- A number of cases of assault, stalking and other acts of harassment
- A number of disputes about divorce costs
- Cases involving financial arrangements and contact issues, some involving extended family
- Cases involving same sex relationship breakdowns
- A number of disagreements between couples from different races and cultures
- A case involving a conflict between a mother, father and the grandparents in relation to the rearing of the children
- A party suffering from alcohol abuse where the power balance and their ability to look after their own interests was disputed.
- A case involving a husband who had suffered a severe brain tumour, disabled with limited life expectancy had needs which had to be balanced against his wife’s own health problems
- Cases involving young adults at risk of deliberate self-harm
- Cases involving young adults being made homeless
- A case involving a 16 year old male teenager in danger of being ejected from the family home because of his refusal to attend college and his unsocial behaviour at home
- Cases involving divorced parents who are in dispute about child access arrangements
- Dispute between family members (adult son/current partner of deceased) regarding Will and division of Estate
- Family mediation between parent and teenager over issues of drug/alcohol abuse and involvement in youth justice system
- Family mediation between co-habiting mother and adult child over conflict involving threats of violence
- Dispute between former co-habitees and other family members over beneficial ownership of residential properties acquired during long-term partnership
- Former co-habitees in dispute over beneficial ownership of jointly-owned residential property abroad
- Dispute between family members arising from legal and equitable rights and interests in residential property