Financial and Property Mediation Services for Families
Mediation First offers a trusted mediation service for financial and property disputes that arise due to breakdowns in relationships. Over the years, our team of experienced professionals have helped many families resolve disagreements about how their finances, property and income should be shared. Our mediators use a rigorous and thorough process, to help you achieve fair and workable financial solutions.
Get in touch with us for more information, and take the first step towards agreeing on a financial and property settlement. Move forward with mediation.Enquire today
What is financial mediation?
Financial mediation is a negotiation process assisted by an impartial mediator. When couples are going through a separation or divorce, disputes over assets finances inevitably add further stress and anxiety to an already difficult time.
No matter how amicable a separation is, it’s hard for those involved to be objective and see the whole picture. Having an impartial, unbiased perspective to help judge scenarios can help individuals to reach agreements more quickly, with minimal conflict. Our professional mediators are experts in family mediation and are trained to offer tailored, constructive guidance that helps both parties move through each stage of the process. They aim to resolve any disagreements that arise along the way, and assist in working towards balanced agreements that work for both parties.
Our team of professional mediators are experts in seeing the wood from the trees, and are on hand to assist families through the most complex and intertwined financial negotiations.
We help you sort out the questions that almost everyone going through the breakdown of a relationship is worried about -
- Where is everyone going to live?
- What’s going to happen to our home?
- How am I going to afford to live?
- How do we deal with pensions?
- How are savings and debts treated?
Contact us today to find out exactly how financial and property mediation can help you.
What is property mediation?
Financial and property mediation are usually approached within the same session. The process is the same as the financial mediation service, but focuses on the division of property assets between both parties involved.
In some cases, property owned by a separating couple may need to be sold in order for the value of the assets to be realised and the proceeds fairly split. In other cases, one person may stay in the house to provide a home for any dependant children. Where rental properties are involved, this may also involve discussions about whose name will be on the tenancy agreement going forward. This is where there is a crossover between negotiations regarding property on the one hand and finances on the other.
The financial and property mediation process
Mediators will guide both participants through four different stages in meetings over a period of weeks:
1. Sharing InformationThe first step is to clarify the priorities and concerns of each participant. Additionally, individuals need to share their financial information and documentation with each other and the mediator. Based on this, the mediator will prepare a detailed and comprehensive joint financial statement.
2. Exploring OptionsAfter this, mediators will break down each issue into ‘bite-sized’ elements and provide the relevant legal information relating to each area. From here, they will identify viable options and possible solutions with you and explore these in more detail. Detailed discussion and reality-testing of any preferred scenarios will also be carried out. If requested, the mediator can then prepare a summary of the options.
3. Finding SolutionsIn this stage, the mediator will manage discussions to help you reach a consensus. With the mediator’s assistance, you will be able to agree the detailed terms of settlement, and the next steps required to ratify the settlement. To prepare for stage four, the mediator will prepare a memorandum that clearly sets out the terms of the proposed settlement.
4. Legal Documentation / Implementation
The final stage is where parties receive legal advice to check the settlement is legally fair. The legal adviser will prepare the formal documentation for court, so that these can be filed with court. After the judge has reviewed and approved the consent order, the terms of this court approved agreement can be implemented.
Although the end goal of resolving conflict and disputes is the same regardless of the type of mediation, the process is incredibly flexible. If needed, it’s possible to incorporate the expertise of other professionals and specialists to offer guidance on specific matters such as pensions, businesses, or owned property. Solicitors can also be present during meetings to provide advice on the spot from a legal perspective.
The benefits of financial and property mediation
We recognise that one size does not fit all when it comes to managing a separation. So, our mediators are trained to offer a bespoke service based on the specific circumstances and needs of every client. The team have the necessary experience to choose the right model for your situation, and will help you achieve a successful outcome in a manageable timescale.
Successful mediations cost much less than the adversarial legal route, as it focuses on constructive communication rather than combative arguments. Sorting out financial support, property and any other assets is not always a quick process. But, taking the mediation route is sure to get you to a resolution as efficiently as possible, without spending unnecessary energy and money outside your designated mediation sessions.
With impartial guidance, our team can help you keep conflict to a minimum to help you find mutually acceptable solutions with minimum cost, stress, and delay.
What our clients say
Amazing what mediation can do. Talking things out with a mediator really does help
I liked the way that mediation was non-confrontational and provided an easier way to reach a fair and reasonable outcome
Book your first mediation session today
Property and finance mediation starts with a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (a MIAM). We’re currently conducting these online wherever you’re based in the UK. This is dedicated time for you to tell us about your situation from your own point of view. We explain in detail how mediation works, and start thinking carefully about the emotional and financial implications for your family.
Contact us today or more information about which service is right for you, and read our FAQs for more information.
Property and Finance Mediation FAQs
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about family finance and property mediations. Remember, your first mediation session, the MIAM, will be the perfect opportunity to ask your mediator any other questions that you have based on your specific situation.
How long does mediation take?
The length of mediation sessions varies depending on the type and complexity of the case. Each meeting lasts between 1 and 2 hours. In most cases, a minimum of three sessions will be needed. Some narrow cases may only need two sessions.
Where three or more sessions are required, the whole process usually takes three or four months. This is quicker than the process of going to court, which can take between 6 and 12 months.
Does mediation lead to a legally binding agreement?
Yes, all mediated settlements can be turned into legally binding agreements. Our mediators have a wealth of legal and financial knowledge to help you explore the different options within a legal framework.
When a way forward has been found in mediation, the mediator will put the joint proposals in writing. This gives you the chance to check everything out with a legal adviser and you can then ratify the arrangements either as a contractual agreement between you (known as a Separation Agreement) or you can ask the court to approve your settlement in the form of a Consent Order.
When should I start mediation?
There is no hard and fast rule, as every situation is different. Many people come to mediation soon after separating, or after divorce proceedings have started, as they feel motivated to sort things out at an early stage. However, others turn to mediation after lengthy negotiations that have reached an impasse.
At Mediation First, we’re happy to work with you at any stage of the process. It’s never too late to talk to us, even if court proceedings have already begun. Mediation can be worth a couple of tries in the interest of reaching the best solution, so if your first round of mediation with another company was unsuccessful, Mediation First’s methods may be better able to help you.
Do we have to sit in the same room?
Mediation is all about communication rather than confrontation. In scenarios where people feel uncomfortable being in the same room, we are able to facilitate separate rooms throughout the process. The priority is ensuring that everyone feels safe and comfortable throughout the process. You will have an opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have at your MIAM, which is an individual confidential 1:1 meeting with one of our expert mediators.
Our mediators are skilled at facilitating meetings in a way that provides both sides to have their say, and hear the other. Both accounts can be used to paint the whole picture in the interest of fairness and considering everyone involved.
What support is available for people who have accessibility needs?
Mediation First makes every effort to ensure our services are available to everyone. This includes:
- Disabled people (including both physical and mental disabilities).
- Persons with learning difficulties.
- Persons with limited English proficiency.
- Anyone with health conditions that have a bearing over their ability to attend or communicate within a mediation session.
When needed and appropriate, we can consider arrangements for carers or companions to accompany people to their mediation appointments. We can also seek to make adjustments for sensory needs, using assistive technology where possible and appropriate. Additionally, we can also arrange for translators and interpreters to attend.
Please inform us of any accessibility requirements when you first contact us ahead of your MIAM appointment so that we can discuss what is needed ahead of time.
What financial issues can be addressed in the mediation process?
Mediation is a flexible and robust way to sort out even the most complex finances. We have the experience to tailor the mediation model to suit the particular circumstances of your financial situation. As well as the very common issues outlined earlier that Mediation First also offer support for more complex financial situations, such as:
- Cases of multiple property ownership.
- Large investments.
- Above average capital and/or income.
- Significant pension funds.
- Business interests.
- Trust funds.
- Foreign assets.
- Complicated tax implications.
We also have experience of involving accountants, financial planners, and actuaries as part of the mediation process. This allows them to provide information and professional advice on complex financial matters such as pensions and investing assets. Expert information and advice from financial experts can help to ensure all parties maintain an adequate income in the future while minimising tax consequences when assets are divided.
How can mediation help deal with difficult dynamics?
It’s a misconception that mediation is only for separated couples who continue to have an easy and co-operative relationship. However, the reality is that the majority of couples who come to Mediation First do so because they are at loggerheads and have reached an impasse. For many , communication has completely broken down and some may not have seen each other for a long time. The bottom line is that mediation can help most couples.
Many people considering mediation are worried that unhelpful dynamics in their relationship will make it impossible for there to be a level playing field for negotiations. You may be worried that your ex-partner will, for example, be allowed to:
- Dominate and steamroller the discussions.
- Pressurise you into an unfair arrangement.
- Speak over you and interrupt you.
- Trying to mislead you because they have a greater level of financial knowledge.
- Trying to win over and charm the mediator.
- Use the negotiation process as a means of continuing intimidation.
All of our mediators are very skilled at managing these scenarios and use various ways to make people feel safe and fairly treated throughout the process. The MIAM meeting is an excellent opportunity for you to raise any concerns you might have.
How can I check that my financial settlement is legally fair?
Naturally, you’ll want to check that the results of your mediation are legally fair and binding. Our mediators will throughout the mediation make sure you have an understanding of what the law considers relevant and important to ensure a farir outcome.
If you have a solicitor, you can ask them to review the settlement before it’s made legally binding to ensure that you’re getting your fair entitlement. If you don’t have a legal advisor, Mediation First provides a quick and inexpensive alternative. We have a partnership with a leading Barrister’s Chambers so that you can get a written review of the proposed settlement and advice on its legal fairness from a specialist family law barrister.