Most people contemplating separation or divorce feel very uncertain and sometimes quite fearful about their futures and whether they will be able to manage financially.
They understandably worry about housing and other financial issues and whether their incomes will be sufficient for their needs and also the needs of their children. They worry about whether they will have sufficient pension provision.
We have huge experience in helping clients to re-establish certainty in their lives by negotiating satisfactory financial settlements for them. Our commitment is always to achieve only the very best outcomes for our clients in order to enable them all to face the future with absolute confidence and certainty.
Your first step is to decide which way forward is the most appropriate one for you as an individual. Some clients choose mediation, others choose collaborative law, but for some the court process is absolutely vital and necessary. It is very important indeed for you to choose the right way forward for you as an individual. This choice is so very important, because it will undoubtedly dictate how much expense you incur and whether the approach with your ex-partner is a conciliatory one or an adversarial one, or perhaps a combination of both. If you need assistance with this process then do please contact us for free no obligation guidance on this very important issue.
Your second step, to the best outcome for you, is to ensure that we have a very clear and accurate picture of all the relevant assets, liabilities, incomes, and pensions of each party. This process is called “full and frank disclosure” and before the processes of mediation, collaborative law, or the contested court process, can proceed all the parties involved need to be aware of the absolute full picture of assets, liabilities, incomes, and pensions of the parties supported by relevant documentary evidence. Once we have all that information, and values are agreed, we can use that information to negotiate the best outcome for you.
Your third step, once there has been a full disclosure of all the relevant assets, liabilities, incomes, and pensions, is for negotiation to take place to achieve the very best outcome for you as an individual. You have a choice about where these negotiations take place.
These negotiations can take place during the mediation process with the assistance of one of our very experienced solicitor mediators which will undoubtedly be the most economical route for you.
Alternatively these negotiations can take place during the collaborative law process if you each prefer your own solicitor to be at your side every step of the way which will be a more expensive route for you than the mediated route
Or these negotiations can take place alongside the adversarial court process if you prefer a contest and you want your own solicitor and possibly your own barrister to be at your side every step of the way. This will be by far the most expensive route. Routinely couples spend £3000-£6000 each and in extreme cases much more pursuing this particular option. Most Judges would say that this is an option of “last resort” – in fact most Judges encourage mediation in order to settle matters at the earliest opportunity with the minimum of emotional distress to the parties and the minimum of expense. Mediation is therefore an option you should seriously consider because it is likely to achieve a settlement for you with minimum expense and minimum emotional distress, and Judges will in fact ask you if you seek a settlement through the courts whether you have tried mediation first.
The most important step is always to decide the best initial approach to suit your individual circumstances. We have years of experience in helping clients to choose the best tailor-made solution for them and so, if you have any doubts at all about the right way forward for you please contact us for a free no obligation discussion about your situation and the best way forward for you.
Richard Hirst who is our most senior, and experienced solicitor and family mediator, will be happy to assist you personally.