A married couple came to mediation as they had spent tens of thousands of pounds on legal fees and Court hearings costs and wanted to avoid the further legal costs of a final hearing.
In this case they had multiple properties.
The properties had already been valued, they had obtained recent mortgage statements and taken tax advice.
The Judge at the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing had given an indication that the wife should have a slightly higher split of the assets as she did not work and was continuing to raise the children more than the father.
The wife found it hard at first to be in the same room as the husband but wanted to be in the same room rather than a shuttle mediation.
We worked through the financial disclosure of both clients and the clients agreed for a 60/40 split of the assets in favour of the wife.
I documented the financial proposals in a Memorandum of Understanding and Open Financial Summary. The clients provided these documents to their Solicitors so that a financial consent order could be prepared to vacate the final financial hearing.
Both clients were informed that the final hearing would have cost them each tens of thousands of pounds as they had both instructed Legal 500 firms and were planning to engage senior Barristers for the final hearing.
There were 5 joint mediation sessions over a month.
Both clients were able to reach a decision where they both felt like sensible compromise had been achieved.
There was also financial provision made for the children for some of the properties. The children were at an age where the parents wanted them to express their wishes and feelings which was helpful in deciding what happened to the properties in the future when they needed their own property.
Austin Chessell, Collaborative Family Solicitor and Accredited Family Mediator at London Family Solicitor