January 13, 2023

Can mediation work for a financially complex divorce?

By Nicki Mitchell, Jones Myers Family Law Mediator and Child-Inclusive Mediator 

Sadly, a misconception exists among divorcing couples, and some family lawyers, that the only way to terminate a financially complicated marriage is to fight it out in court.     

During Family Mediation week, which takes place across January 16 to 20 to promote the benefits of mediation, I want to emphasise that this is not the case.  

As a qualified collaborative family lawyer, family law mediator and child-inclusive mediator, I have seen at first-hand how mediation has enabled clients to work constructively with their ex – even in the most complex situations. 

With the right mediator, there is no reason why financially complex issues cannot be agreed through mediation. Mediation puts you and your ex in the driving seat and avoids the cost and stress of going to court. 

A skilled lawyer mediator who is experienced in financial settlements can give really useful legal and technical information. 

This can be particularly important in cases with complicated company structures, pensions etc as the right mediator will ensure that you both gain an understanding of the overall structure and so can make properly informed decisions. 

In my opinion, it is often fear and lack of confidence that motivates people to rely on solicitors and courts to make decisions for them. 

The law around financial settlements gives a very wide discretion to a court to make a financial order which is fair in the particular circumstances of the particular family.

Whilst good independent legal advice is key in supporting mediation, it must be right that those best placed to make decisions about what is fair is the couple themselves.

Mediation allows you to set the pace and discuss with a mediator and your ex confidentially the things which are most important to you such as finances and the welfare of your children.    

Keeping communication channels open, it helps you both to work towards agreed arrangements which put your children’s interests first and meet your family’s long-term interests.

Mediation enables you to agree on momentous decisions such as how your financial assets are divided and the time you can spend with your children.

This differs dramatically from a court divorce where these critical factors are determined and imposed by a Judge who knows little about you and your family – and whose decision is binding.

Jones Myers is at the forefront of helping clients to reach solutions which do not subject them to the emotional trauma of litigation.

Our commitment to helping clients divorce in a non-confrontational way has seen us further expand our services to offer an integrated approach to mediation.

This entails us bringing together various processes such as mediation early neutral evaluation, or arbitration on discreet points of disagreement.

The processes – which seek to find bespoke solutions for our clients – also involve professionals including solicitors, IFA’s, divorce coaches, family consultants and accountants

We are proud to be among a handful of family law firms offering this combined approach.

In divorce, there is nothing more important than ensuring you and your ex can start a new chapter in a spirit of cooperation which is in your children’s best interests.    

For advice on mediation, divorce or family law related issues, call us at Leeds on 0113 246 0055, Harrogate on 01423 276104, or York on 01904 202550. Visit jm2023.jonesmyers.co.uk, email info@jonesmyers.co.uk or tweet @helpwithdivorce

For more information on Family Mediation Week visit this link 

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