Marcia Mediation offers a comprehensive range of family mediation services including financial mediation for divorce, separation and and civil partnership dissolution. Our experienced team understands the emotional complexities involved in financial disputes, children cases and is committed to guiding clients towards fair and equitable solutions and, where there are children, ensuring there needs are met and voices heard. Financial mediation is crucial in achieving a balanced outcome for all parties. We acknowledge that financial matters can be contentious and have a lasting impact on individuals and their families. Our skilled mediators create a supportive and neutral environment for open discussions, facilitating productive dialogue and helping parties reach mutually agreeable resolutions. Whether it’s the division of assets, property, investments, or spousal support, our financial mediation services cater to the specific needs and concerns of our clients. We ensure that all relevant financial information is shared and considered, enabling both parties to understand the implications of proposed settlements. At Marcia Mediation, we prioritise the well-being and interests of our clients and their families. Our aim is to minimise stress and conflict while promoting constructive communication, understanding and cooperation. Through financial mediation, we help clients achieve dignified outcomes that pave the way for a happier , empowered and more secure future.
Financial mediation is a part of the family mediation process, designed to help separating couples move forward and rebuild their lives with the means to do so. Family financial mediation is available to a wide variety of people, including the following:
Under a ‘no fault divorce’, there’s no option to contest the divorce and a minimum time frame of 26 weeks within which to commence divorce proceedings before a final divorce order is made, although typically this process takes longer than this.
Married couples or couples living under a civil partnership
Through mediation, we help divorcinging couples split their assets, with the ultimate goal of reaching a divorce financial settlement. Whether you’re dissolving a marriage or a civil partnership, the goal is still the same, to reach a financial separation that enables you both to rebuild your lives and move forward in a mutually beneficial way. At Marcia Mediation, we can help guide you through all aspects of the divorce mediation process, including how assets are divided.
No fault divorce
Long overdue modern, new legislation came into force in April 2022 called The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (DDS Act 2020). Under the DDS Act 2022, either of you can apply for a divorce without the need for evidence of fault (no fault divorce) or blame. Under a ‘no fault divorce’, there’s no option to contest the divorce and a minimum time frame of 26 weeks within which to commence divorce proceedings before a final divorce order is made, although typically this process takes longer than this.
LDuring this process, you may encounter modern terminology such as ‘conditional order‘ and ‘final order‘, but whatever you negotiate together in mediation will become a ‘Consent Order’ (a legal document that confirms your agreement) after the conditional stage of the proceedings.
Unmarried couples and TOLATA
For unmarried couples, the principles of mediation are the same, but the law is different. The division of assets owned jointly by unmarried couples or couples not living under a civil partnership are governed by a law commonly known as TOLATA (Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996). This law is not particularly helpful to people in this situation, as it doesn’t consider the real-world value of your assets or what you both need to rebuild your lives. Family mediation offers a welcome opportunity to explore options outside the restrictive framework of the law.
As part of the mediation process, we will work closely with you to divide your assets in a way that allows you both to move forward from your separation in a positive way. The type of assets we look at include but are not limited to the following:
The family home
We will help you agree on a valuation of your family home. One way of achieving this is to ask a couple of local independent estate agents to value your home and then agree on a median point between the highest and lowest valuation. We suggest you bring any redemption statement for your mortgage and details of monthly mortgage repayments to your mediation sessions.
Handling pensions during a divorce can be complex. We will guide you in obtaining the advice you need, but it is always a good idea to seek a statement of cash equivalent value from a pension provider as soon as possible, as this can take time. Sometimes it’s beneficial to bring an agreed pension advisor to your mediation sessions so that you both understand what any reallocated or “shared” pension arrangement will achieve for you on retirement. Any agreement to share pensions must be included in your consent order under what’s called a pension sharing order.
We work with separating couples who have family businesses, many of which are shareholders and directors. In our experience, mediation helps you both agree on how to value your business. We can help you to choose an expert to value your business, the terms of reference to that expert so that everyone is invested in finding a way forward that works for you, your business, and your wider family and shareholders. We offer more practical solutions than those that might be imposed by the courts, as we help you to achieve a solution decided on by you. Click here to read more about family business mediation.
When dividing your assets, we also include any properties you own that are located abroad, helping you identify and agree upon the value of your foreign property, including the basis of the valuation, giving consideration to local factors.
We often work with separating couples where one person’s income is higher in proportion to the other. In these instances, we may invite you to appoint an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) to offer both of you advice on how to split your assets in a way that either partly or wholly rectifies the disparity of the person with the lower income.
You may have heard of clean break orders, and while this might sound like a better approach, this isn’t always the case. Under a clean break order, each person agrees to have no financial ties following a court order, allowing each to move forward financially independent. This approach isn’t right for everyone, as it can leave some people worse off after the separation of their finances.
It might seem daunting at first, but our financial mediation process is designed to make what would otherwise be a very stressful situation as straightforward and pain-free as possible, considering the needs of each party and ensuring that each person can move forward comfortably with their life.
A typical financial mediation process is as follows:
Although it can be beneficial to meet face to face, due to the nature of mediation, we find that most of our clients prefer a remote mediation approach. Remote mediation still follows the process detailed above but removes the need to travel to the same location as your partner, taking away some of the anxiety some people feel going into the mediation process and facilitating a focus on the practicalities of dividing the assets in the fairest way possible.
We like to work with clients and their solicitors so that legal advisors can attend the mediation sessions with them when everyone is agreed that this is a useful way forward.
Financial disclosure is an important part of the mediation process, and we will work with you to build trust where it might be missing, and help you identify, understand and move forward from any historic financial imbalance that may have existed.
As part of the financial disclosure process, we’ll look at your income and expenditure, as well as your assets and liabilities:
Once we’ve identified and assessed your income and expenditure, we’ll subtract your assets and liabilities to create a “pot” that we’ll use as part of the mediation process.
These include court proceedings and arbitration. Your solicitor will advise you on the application of both.
A pioneer for mediation since commencing legal practice as a family solicitor some seventeen years ago, Marcia has worked exclusively as an independent mediator since 2004, focussing initially on family mediation, and latterly on work place mediation.
Marcia’s accreditations include Family Mediation and she is a qualified child consultant practitioner. Her associations include the Professional Mediators Association and Resolution.