When relationships break down, there can be difficult financial decisions to make. These can include:
- How to work out assets, liabilities and income;
- Where everyone will live;
- How to share assets, liabilities and income;
- Reality checks and budgeting;
- Dealing with debts;
- Spousal maintenance and child support.
The first step in sorting out finances is to obtain a full Financial Disclosure. The mediator will issue the forms to you and your former partner to collate the information to make the disclosure which will be set out in a manner acceptable to a court – this is called the Schedule of Assets and Liabilities.
The mediator will then:
1. Help you to identify and understand your assets, liabilities, income and expenditure;
2. Use this information to help to explore the options available to you and the likely consequences of each;
3. Help you to negotiate and agree proposals with one another for sharing your finances in a way that you consider to be fair;
4. Identify tasks you will need to carry out to help you make more informed choices;
5. Produce summaries of the mediation meeting outcomes that you can use to obtain legal advice alongside mediation;
6. Produce a Memorandum of Understanding setting out all your proposals which can be used by a solicitor to make your agreement legally binding.
The Memorandum of Understanding is not a legally binding document and you will be encouraged to seek legal advice before the final document is produced.