We went through mediation - it dealt solely with financial and child access arrangements. The mediator is really just a go between, someone who keeps the emotion out of the negotiation over the splitting of assets, and has some experience around what will be acceptable to a court. Our mediator was also very good at clarifying that what was agreed would be a realistic long term arrangement. The cost was £55 for the initial session and £175 thereafter - my wife had Legal Aid. We had 4 sessions in all (including the initial one).
Everything financial is taken into account - income, outgoings, savings, debts, pensions, insurances, cars etc, and you end up with a written agreement in Report Form which is signed by both parties and used as part of the the Consent Order.
Yes, it is working, but it is no magic wand! Our mediator is quite clever in making us decide what is fair betwewen us, only stepping in where there is a clear disparity.
As I said in previous post, it is a non-confrontational environment. Show me a divorcing couple that exist in a non-confrontational environment and I will cry 'Miracle!'
That's the hard bit. Biting your tongue, looking at the bigger picture, setting aside the 'he said, she said' marital differences to the greater good of a separate future, where both go their respective ways. Don't underestimate the emotional turmoil you will go through. The re-examiniation of what was agreed. The self questionning - 'Was that fair, or to his/her advantage?'
The balancing element for me in this is that I would rather be biting my tongue and making some concessions than funding some solicitor's winter skiing holiday with our joint assets.
Every couple are different. Success depends on both party's willingness to negotiate with each other and make concessions.
Both you and the STBX need to go with an open mind.
In our case, we need to make some short to medium term solutions, followed by full and final one at some time down the road - from 1 year to 2 years. Our joint asset base is our business, so we can't afford to screw each other (forgive the expression!) until a buyer is found at a decent price. When does that happen? How long is a piece of string?
Best of luck - keep us posted, would like to hear about your experiences.
Im currently going through mediation, so far i am really unhappy with the woman that is conducting the meetings, she has given my ex information i requested not be be given thus resultling in vial emails from his new gf, i tryed to contact the woman as well over the 6 week holiday only to be told shes not in! part timers not help at all has been given to me, my ex is trying to ge residency of my 3 children, none of who wish to see him or his new gf. I how ever had no idea that they delt with financial matters though, any one got any information on that??
We had first meeting today. I cried, he didn't recognise my rawness, the guy was good, but said he can't really go into emotioanl issues.
After much explaining of the 'process of mediation'
He started a flip-chart listing of our assets, (didn't even get as far as income or pensions) before time-up.
My ex lied about the value of our MH, and then suggested his sister had an 'interest' in £120k of the property. (She doesn't!, she isn't on the Deeds, she hasn't put any money in, just something he decided today!)
And on he went about lying. Which is why I didn't think it would work. Since this guy only comes in on Mondays, with my husbands busy work schedule, we can't get another session beofre mid-Oct, so this could run for months, and I doubt it will be resolved without his honesty.
Having read your postings tonight, you have had a day from hell. mediation is not nice, you have to be so dispassionate about your time in the marriage, and focus purely on the debits and credits. I'm sorry to hear it didn't go well for you. Sadly it seems your STBX is being a complete lying sh*t. At the moment, mine is saying nothing, so I may have a lot more in common with you by lunchtime tomorrow, when we complete our next session. As she initiated proceedings, it seems to me that perhaps she should be putting her position clearly. Not the case. I have to make all the running at the moment, which is difficult if you have nothing coming back. Good luck with it, I hope you make some inroads or trip the g*t up somewhere along the line. Sounds too cocky by half.
We are now on our 3rd mediation meeting ( each about 6 weeks apart due to part time nature of solicitors)
I have provided all teh financial information I can muster, and spent each session watching as the the two lady solicitors and darling XTB carve up all the joint, and my personal assets.
I wish XTB really had an open mind and a realistic approach. At each meeting she has simply said that she has no assets or any cash, that she wants the FH and £1200 pcm, and will not consider anything else.
the mediators have been really good, but all they seem to achieve is to give XTB further reason to brand me as miserly and penny pinching.
She has done no calculations of her own, and simply criticizes any work that I have done.
None of this would be too back, except that her New Man pays his ex nothing at all, and simply pays the mortgage on her house, which she is not a signatory of, simply a rent free tenant.
mediation is good, but both parties need to be realistic, and not assume that the other is out for all they can get.