What happens if we can’t reach an agreement on the finances in mediation?

Many clients are able to agree terms of a financial settlement in mediation, with supportive and independent legal advice alongside. However, there are some cases where this becomes difficult. When this happens, we will always consider with our clients what alternative processes might be suitable to resolve their issues without requiring their case to be referred to court.

We are committed to supporting our clients find the right process for them and will explain the full range of options available. The discussion about these options will include a consideration of the costs involved and clients would only proceed once costs are established and agreed by all.

What happens if my ex doesn’t provide full financial disclosure?

Any financial settlement has to be based on a clear understanding by both clients and their advisors of the family finances. If one person is withholding information about finances, the mediation process cannot proceed. In the absence of voluntary cooperation with financial disclosure, the only way to force this is by court order. If a court process becomes necessary we can sign the necessary court form. It is important that all clients realise the obligation on them to provide complete and honest financial disclosure, regardless of whether the issues are being addressed in mediation, negotiations through solicitors or in a court process.

What if I feel uncomfortable sitting together with my ex in the room?

In some situations, we may suggest that it would be appropriate to work with our clients in separate rooms. This is sometimes referred to as ‘shuttle mediation.’ The joint mediation sessions can progress with the mediator moving between the clients in separate spaces. The same mediation principles apply to shuttle mediation, as to mediations where we work with clients in the same room.

We can also offer the entire mediation process via online virtual appointments where the clients can remain in separate virtual spaces if deemed appropriate or desired.

Things are going well with the kids, I am not sure that we need parenting support or to involve the children at this stage?

We recognise that separation is a chaotic time and there are lots of competing demands. The parenting support offered is optional.

What if I am keen, but my ex isn’t, can they be made to come along?

Mediation is entirely voluntary so no client can be ‘made’ to come along. We are always available to discuss the mediation process with clients and they can have a no-obligation chat with one of our team to discuss how it works or any concerns that they might have.

Will there be a court order for the children?

There is what is called a ‘no order’ principle in England, which means that orders are not made about children unless their parents cannot reach agreement. At Wells Family Mediation, we can help you to work together to come up with a parenting plan, which will focus on the children’s needs and will be unique to each family we work with so, hopefully there will be no need to go to court. However, this is optional.

I am on a low income, can I get Legal Aid to help with the costs of this?

There is a government voucher for £500 available for mediation where children are being discussed. If you think you might be eligible for legal aid, please refer to our Costs and Legal Aid pages.

I would like to thank you for the time you have spent in achieving in 4 hours, what we never achieved in 4 months. I think it is by far a much better process than solicitors and court.

I honestly feel that we now have a good chance of proceeding in an amicable way that hopefully in time will become a friendship with the children at its core. I do not think we would have achieved this through solicitors, and feel huge gratitude for your patience and gentleness.

It’s so much better to go through this process together in a calm and neutral setting, rather than being defensive at home or seeing a solicitor individually. You’ve been a great adviser on a tricky topic and the meetings were really productive.

Throughout this whole horrible process we have both felt that the system is designed to leave us hating each other and to have had your support in helping us get to this point has meant a great deal, so thank you for your support of us both and for reflecting everything so well.

Thank you for all you have done to make a very sad and painful process somewhat less painful!

Thanks for all your help. We are talking a lot more and generally getting on much better, we even stood next to each other at rugby AND are going to parents’ evening together!

You did more in 4 hours than our lawyers had done in 1 year. For that I am very grateful.