This is the third in a series of three blogs by Austin Chessell pending a family mediation evening for family Solicitors, accountants and other professionals to be held in East London on 18 October 2018. For details contact us on enquiries@ASMADR.co.uk

People often come to me asking how they can best prepare for Financial Family Mediation.

Here are 10 points for you to consider:

  • It can take time to collate your financial disclosure. In particular pension details can take a while to be sent to you. Once you have both decided to resolve financial matters in mediation look to request your financial documents as soon as possible. If your financial disclosure is not complete this slows down the speed at which Family Mediation can progress;
  • The mediator can help you both reach your decisions for finances but who else will be part of the team to assist you through the process? Will you meet with a Family Solicitor to receive advice and to draft the financial consent order? Will you meet with a financial advisor e.g. if you are to receive a lump sum what is the best thing to do with this? Will you need a pension actuary to prepare a pension report to recommend what should happen with the pension?
  • If one of you does not feel as comfortable understanding the finances as the other person does a financial professional need to be more closely involved with you in the mediation process to ensure that you feel confident to negotiate with the other person?
  • For items worth under £500 is it really proportionate to costs to discuss them in mediation? Instead could an items schedule be prepared and any outstanding points be discussed in mediation?
  • Is what you would like to happen as a financial settlement realistic? Have you reality tested your financial proposal i.e. have you met with a mortgage advisor to find out your mortgage capacity if you intend to buy a property?
  • As well as looking for a property for yourself have you also considered the housing needs of the other person?
  • Have you taken the time to work out what your income is each month? What your outgoings are each month? How will this impact on what the financial settlement should be for both of you?
  • Have you both considered child maintenance if this applies and what duration it should apply for?
  • Have you both considered spousal maintenance and if this applies, what term it should be for? If you are not working do you plan to retrain to work again? Will you need time to study to change profession?
  • Are there other professionals that you need to work with once the financial proposals are decided in mediation e.g. A Solicitor to draft your Will and a Conveyance Solicitor if there are property matters to address?