Working with other professionals to support you in your separation


When a relationship breaks down there are many different factors and as a mediator, although I can talk about these matters with both of you I will help you with finding the correct support alongside mediation. By accessing the extra support you may find your mediation and legal costs are less.

I’m a mediator. I can help you have discussions about the legal decisions to be made following a separation. That is my skill and my expertise. When a relationship breaks down there are many different factors to consider and as a mediator, although I can talk about these matters with both of you, I am not qualified to help you with all areas.

I see one of my key strengths as a mediator as recognising that I am not the only person who should be helping you.

When I first started working in family law in 1998 the approach was very different to that taken by many family solicitors now. 20 years ago mediation was seen as the new kid on the block. Solicitors, and clients, thought that if their relationship broke down then they should take legal advice and go to court to sort things out. This ignored the fact that a relationship breaking down is so much more than the legalities. So many cases ended up in court, not because the legal issues were complex but because other matters in the relationship had not been considered.

A relationship ending is a grief process. You may be at different stages in the process but you both need time to grieve. Recognising that one person is at a different stage emotionally and altering the approach you are taking to dealing with the separation can actually help you reach a resolution more swiftly. If the person who is further ahead in the grief process keeps trying to push the other one forward then it leads to lawyers and court applications. Speaking to a counsellor either individually or as a couple can help you understand the feelings you are each experiencing and help with moving forward.

If you have children they may react to the relationship ending. This may cause more conflict between you as a couple. Seeking the right support for your children will not only help them but it will help you both in finding a way to help your children through this difficult time.

Housing and where everyone will live is definitely something we work through in mediation. By having the right information available and speaking to an independent mortgage adviser you will understand more about your options in relation to how housing needs can be met.

One of you may have dealt with the assets through the relationship or there may be a complex portfolio of assets. Seeking advice from an independent financial adviser or bringing one into the mediation process can help with the division of the assets and maximising their value.

Pensions are complex and they can be structured in different ways. With pensions of a higher value a joint report from a pensions actuary will significantly help in understanding the best way to divide the pensions.

And we can’t forget solicitors. Using solicitors alongside the mediation process can be invaluable as they are there to give you advice and help you understand what the law expects in your situation.

You won’t need everyone of these professionals to help you but by accessing the right help from the right professional can significantly reduce the amount you need to spend in resolving the decisions arising from your separation. It’s important that you have the right advice and I will support and guide you in obtaining that. You may also find that by obtaining this help from other professionals you reduce your overall mediation and legal costs.

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