Has anyone else gone through a mediation process, got to a draft memorandum of understanding and then the mediation service would not send a fair copy because of "concerns over fairness of this agreement in absence of legal advice".
Just going through separation and then hopefully divorce. Trying to keep process civil for children's sake and keeping costs to a minimum in agreement with stbx.
Therefore went through 3 sessions of negotiation mediated to get a draft memorendum of understanding on our finances and children. Then the draft was checked by the mediation Service Legal Advisor who would not endorse the document!!
The service also stated they would not refund any of the mediation costs apart from what they would have charged for the fair copy.
Now having to go back through solicitors just when we thought it was nearly done.
First of all, it is not up to the mediation service to decide what is and is not fair. If two adults, after there has been full financial disclosure, agree about how assets are to be divided, then that is how they should be divided - provided that both sides understand the consequences of what they are agreeing and that the division in clearly not ridiculous.
If you are proceding to divorce, it is likely you will want the memorandum to be converted into a Consent Order, which can only be done by a solicitor. In which case, a solicitor can have a look and give an opinion as to whether the division is fair and sustainable in the short and long term.
But, beware! It is not unknown for solicitors to try to re-open the arguments and clock up some expensive time by saying that you needn't part with so much or you could get more of the family pot.
So, if you are both sufficiently happy with the division, you may have to be quite firm with the lawyer and, after hearing what he/she has to say, insist that the Consent Order reflects the terms of the memorandum.
If I were you, I would go back to the mediation service and tell them that you are taking the memorandum to a solicitor for legal advice and tell them that, if they won't give you a copy, you will take them to the small claims court and give them lots of bad publicity!