When you decide to separate there are lots of issues to be resolved and not surprisingly how you deal with the financial matters is normally right at the top of the list!
If you are lucky you will sit down with your ex and come to an amicable resolution but to be honest this does not happen very often. Other factors come into play that make it difficult to take that step back and reach an agreement without help.
In April 2014 the Courts made it compulsory when separating for you to consider whether mediation would be a better way of resolving the financial matters than going through the court system. You are not allowed to issue an application for the court to deal with the finances unless you have attended a Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting (a ‘MIAM’).
When you attend a MIAM the mediator will consider with you whether mediation is appropriate. You may attend the MIAM on your own or with your ex depending on your circumstances.
Mediation can be a daunting process but it can also be very successful providing both of you are prepared to co-operate fully in the process and compromise. It can work even when the assets are quite substantial or complicated.
Some clients go through the mediation process with no legal advice and some will come to see us between each appointment to obtain advice and support as the process comes to a conclusion. We are happy to help you in any way we can.
Mediation should always be considered as a first step for a number of reasons:-
- Its required by the courts
- It is more economical than the court process
- It is quicker than the court process
- It is less argumentative than the court process
If mediation is not suitable or does not work then we can guide you through the court process.
If you would like further information please contact David Thompstone or Karen West in the Family Team on 020 8643 7221.