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Mediation resolves financial issues to secure clean break divorce

Having a neutral person unpick the different elements of a relationship breakdown can be helpful in putting things into perspective. It can also help a couple to focus on solutions and arrangements for the future.

This was the situation for a couple who came to Michelle Uppal when their marriage of several years had broken down, and they needed help to agree the financial aspects of their divorce settlement.

The couple were young and both had similar incomes and professional jobs.  After separation, they both moved out of the family home so that it could be rented out, and it was on the market for sale.

Having liaised with each person individually, and remotely via video-conference, identified a range of issues to be resolved. These included a lack of trust and problems in communication which had completely broken down in the few months before mediation commenced.

Michelle worked with each person and helped to reassure them about how the mediation process would help, and they agreed to face each other via the video-conference.

It was key for Michelle to ensure that both parties had the opportunity to set out what they each wished to achieve in the mediation.  It was evident that the wording of the particulars for divorce was a problem and it was important to discuss that first. (This was in the days before no-fault divorce, and is a good example of how formalizing the faults in a divorce used to create unnecessary conflict.)

In the first mediation session, Michelle helped them to agree the wording, which meant that they could move on with the process.

The second session focused on financial disclosure, where Michelle explained the legal requirements and gave each person an opportunity to air their concerns.

At the third session, the bank statements were reviewed and while there were concerns which needed to be addressed and some lingering resentments, there were also regrets about how communication had completely broken down and sadness that the relationship had not worked out.

Acknowledging each other’s feelings was an important breakthrough. From this, Michelle was able to prepare a schedule of assets and then an open financial summary.

Around the same time, the family home was sold and the net proceeds had been placed on account. The couple were able to agree an equal division of the net proceeds on a clean break, and were happy that the costs of mediation were a small fraction of what they might have had to pay if the dispute had ended up in court.

For more information on family mediation, please contact Michelle Uppal 020 7426 0400 or send an email via our enquiry form.

This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please note that the law may have changed since the date this article was published. You should always take legal advice relating to your individual circumstances.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

Michelle Uppal, Miles & Partners Solicitors, London

Michelle Uppal

Mediator and Solicitor | Head of the matrimonial department

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