Clients’ Stories

Emma and Joe’s Story

Emma and Joe had been married 15 years. They had two children together, aged 13 and 9. Joe had taken the first step in ending the marriage and had moved out of the family home. The children stayed living with Emma. They wanted help to deal with parenting arrangements for the children and to reach a financial settlement (they owned the family home together, Joe ran his own business, they each had a private pension and additional state pension), and they wanted to discuss maintenance for Emma and the children.

Separation and divorce is almost always difficult, and this case had the additional complication that Emma wanted to move 200 miles away with the children, so that she would be nearer her family. Both Joe and Emma had taken legal advice on the issue and their advice was quite different.

Emotions were running high when mediation started and there was a great sense of urgency to decide the children’s schooling for the following school year, and this hinged on where the children would live. We started by helping them to have a conversation about how, when and what to tell the children about what was going on. This gave them something to focus on together. We then looked at their finances to work out what was is the matrimonial pot.

Mediation is a flexible process and we meet with Joe and Emma over a period of a few weeks. During that time, we helped them to reach a financial settlement, which worked for both Emma and Joe and their children. Their parenting relationship was preserved and improved in a way that would have been impossible if they had gone through the court system.