Start Mediation. Grow your pie.
Divorce & Dissolution Financial Claims
The financial future is usually a big worry during a divorce or civil partnership dissolution. The fear of “how much will this cost” and “how can we actually afford to separate” often cause people to sit-tight. This leads to couples feeling trapped…and this can cause potentially explosive reactions.
Mediation will give you control of the outcome
Working through the finances together is a crucial step in moving on and getting on with your lives. If you both start by visiting lawyers, can you be sure that you will retain control over what happens?
On the other hand, if you start with mediation, you’ll be in control. We will listen to what you want to achieve and agree with you and oversee a step-by-step process to help achieve this. We will explain how the law works and help you with options. And we will reality test any proposals you come up with to make sure they are workable, will meet your needs and are legally acceptable.
Law is relevant but getting the right financial support is usually more important
Instead, the three most important factors in reaching a negotiated financial settlement are arguably very simple ones. They are all based on information not law.
The first is establishing that you and your partner both know the full value of your assets, debts, income and expenses. Often when we meet new mediation clients, one will have already made a proposal which the other will not have responded to. The proposer believes the other is being awkward. But, when we speak to the other, they have no idea how much everything is worth. After all, you wouldn’t sell your house to the first person to make an offer without first knowing how much it was worth, would you?
The second is ensuring you both have a good understanding of your own own income, capital, housing and pension needs. Part of this involves listening to each other and understanding the reasons behind the figures given in support of the other’s needs. Staying with the house selling example, you couldn’t buy a home without knowing where you want to live, how many rooms you need, what size mortgage you could afford.
The third, is testing any proposal you come up with to make sure it not only meets both your needs, as a minimum, but also that it is legally possible and, most importantly even for those going through mediation, it will be approved by a judge.
Progressing through these three steps is not as difficult as you might think when you have a mediator helping you.
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Why you need a MIAM.
If you want to make a family court application, chances are you'll need a MIAM certificate to show that you've met with a mediator. MIAM is short for Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. MIAMs can only be conducted by specially accredited family mediators.
Maybe you want a MIAM but can't find a local mediator who can meet with you soon enough. Or you can't afford to take time off from work to visit a mediator. Well, you can meet with us over Skype video. All you'll need is a computer, tablet or smartphone with a webcam, a reliable Internet connection and somewhere private to take our video call.
We were the first mediators to offer an online MIAM service in 2012. It's understandable that we've gained a certain amount of expertise in understanding how to set up online consultations, as well as experience in delivering them.
How to get started
You are welcome to call us for a confidential chat. Or to speed things up, you can fill in our confidential online form. Your online form will provide important information about you and your problem or dispute. Once we have it, we'll get in touch with you to arrange your online appointment. We'll send you instructions explaining how to prepare.
What happens at a MIAM?
At your appointment time, you'll need to be in front of your computer or mobile device. One of our mediators (who will also be a non-practising solicitor) will video call you. We'll provide legal information and guidance about court and your other potential options. We'll help you understand how these work, how long they take and how much they cost. If you decide you don't want to mediate, we'll send you a MIAM certificate to enable you to go to court.
How much does it cost?
Each private confidential consultation costs £120. There's no VAT and no hidden extras. So it includes any initial confidential phone chat you might have with one of our accredited mediators, your online appointment with an accredited mediator and any follow up letters, emails and phone calls with you (and the other person). And of course it includes your MIAM court certificate should you want one.
What happens next?
If you decide you would like to try mediation, we'll offer to get in touch with the other person, inviting them to a similar meeting. Mediation can only start if both of you are willing to mediate. If you decide you don't want to mediate, we'll send you a MIAM certificate immediately by email to enable you to make a court application.