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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


When to start mediation

  • shazza
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13 Aug 08 #40090 by shazza
Topic started by shazza
My x2b and I haven't started diivorce procedings yet. We have been discussing the care of the children but he has decided that he wants shared care one week with me and one week with him. My children are 6 and 11 and I feel that they are too young to be away for a whole week at a time and the oldest has already said that she wants to live with me. My x2b has suggested that we go to mediation asap. I am worried about a few things:

1. when should you start mediation - before or after you file for divorce.

2. Should you sort out arrangements for children seperately at mediation or discuss it alongside financial arrangements as things like shared care effect the finances. He seems very concerned about the money aspects and wants to share the child benefit even though he earns 55k and I am a student. Even when I graduate and get a job I will only hope to get a fraction of his salary.

3. He works abroad a lot which would make shared care on a regular basis very difficult. I am worried that he is thinking more about the financial advantages to him of shared care rather than the children.

4. I find him difficult to talk to and rather intimidating which is why we only communicate by e-mail. He has already said he will only accept shared care so is there any point going to mediation. I am worried he will use it as an excuse to bully me into accepting what he wants.

I am really confused and scared at the moment. I feel like I am loosing the kids and being presurised into making decisions. Help!

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13 Aug 08 #40099 by rasher
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Go to mediation as soon as you possibly can - best thing I ever did and preferably before communication deteriorates further or gets unpleasant via formal legal letters.

Mediator will put everything you are already saying to yr husband but it wont be as problematic to him because its not you saying it. You do need to be organised - bring documents etc.

They will do finances; childcare and anything else you want to put on the agenda. They will also talk about the 'norm' for your particular circumstances - its cheaper; faster and you get a bit of time each alone with the mediator before you are round the table to together. It sped things up for me no end and if we had of ended up doing it through two different sols I just know we would have spent a fortune and probably got into entrenched position with the belief that we should 'deal with it in court'.

Cant go quick enough if you want my advice.

Rasher

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13 Aug 08 #40102 by shazza
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Did you see a solicitor for advice first or just go straight to the mediator. Also I don't have full disclosure of his pension even though I asked him for it 6 months ago. I think he is stalling. Is it best to wait until you have all the details before you go? I don't want to waste time and money.

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14 Aug 08 #40109 by rasher
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It was my solicitor who suggested I go all she did was get the petition together. You dont need any finances before you go - mediator will explain to you both what you have to show,hows it managed, how its likely to be split. Because it is so quick it stops all that plotting and planning to hide stuff unless one party has already decided on that course of action. If your husband decides not to play ball you can just pull out it - nothing lost.

Mediator will be very clear that its a full and frank disclosure that is needed and any hiding of stuff is going to cause problems all over.

Courts really like to see mediation having been at least tried. If there is a chance he will go I would bite his hand off and you dont need to have instructed sols prior to starting.

Hope that helps
Rasher

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14 Aug 08 #40110 by pooter1
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I went to see a sol first, for the free half hour consultation. Why don't you phone round a few family law sols and make an initial appt? This got the ball rolling ie that I had grounds for divorce for UB. Sol advised to go to mediation and try our best to sort things out that way. We went and my stbx did produce docs that the mediators asked for (eg CETV of pension and 'some' bank statements), but he would not budge from his own views and what he wanted. I felt he was being unfair so have decided to go to court, the first court hearing in a couple of months. This may sound trite to some who found mediation successful, but we've all got individual circumstances and what can you do when you're dealing with someone who is inherently unreasonable and EXTREMELY SELFISH?!

I think any sol worth their salt should advise you to have a go at mediation first. I just felt a bit stronger with a sol behind me and to advise me in between mediation meetings, and it has cost me a few quid. My stbx did not have a sol. Unfortunately, for us, mediation just didn't work.

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14 Aug 08 #40404 by shazza
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Hi Thanks all for the advice. I still have two questions. I dont't have a CETV value from my x2b yet and therefore we can't discuss finances. Also my x2b wants to wait until we have sorted out childcare before we tell the children we are seperating. I want the children's wishes to be taken into account when deciding on where they live. I can't see the point of going to mediation and agreeing on something which the children don't want. (my eldest is 11 and has already said she wants to live with me even though we haven't actually seperated - its pretty obvious even to her what is going on).

What is everyone else's experiences - did you ask your children what they wanted before you came to an agreement on childcare arrangements? Did the mediator ask what the children's wishes are?

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15 Aug 08 #40435 by rasher
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My children were younger and just wouldnt have been able to discuss the implications of divorce - also we had separated and hubby was refusing to comply with any childcare/child contact arrangements that I requested.

If you are in the same house AND you can have these conversations they ultimately the sorting it out yourself is the best move and get it all drawn up. Where I found mediation helpful was that it created a foucssed sessions where this got discussed and some input from a netural party when it got stuck. With regards to CETV and the rest - mediators only work with evidenced finance but again not getting it together just drags on sometimes and so for me in my case mediation focussed all of that.

Good luck with it
Rasher

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