disputes mediated






financial disputes

The process of achieving a resolution of financial issues following a relationship breakdown can be particularly harrowing, with the parties having to focus on the difficult financial realities of their new situation at a time when emotional pressures may be very great. Mediation is now widely accepted as a very effective way of resolving financial issues following a domestic separation.

If partners have been unmarried, as the law currently stands, the extent of discretion available to the courts to resolve such disputes is limited. On the other hand, in cases where the parties have been married or subject to a civil partnership, the court has a wide discretion in coming to a final decision. This makes prediction of court outcomes in such cases difficult for advisors. The court process itself does all it can to encourage parties to reach an agreement rather than litigate the sensitive issues between them. It is an opportunity too for the parties to hear, perhaps for the first time, how their former partner sees the financial future.

In both cases the wider scope of the mediation process enables separating parties to resolve their dispute in ways which may not be open to the court to order, but which can be to their mutual advantage. There are likely to be significant costs savings too, at a time when the family budget will be stretched.

Parties may or may not be legally represented, that is a matter for them, but we generally ask for each side to provide us with a summary of how they see the dispute. The procedure relies too on mutual frankness and disclosure (indeed, any resolution could be open to later challenge if this has not happened), and the parties would need to exchange full financial information of their assets and liabilities, and likely future needs and resources, in good time prior to the resolution meeting taking place.

The following are trained and accredited in dispute mediation.

David Balcombe QC
Timothy Bergin
Rachael Claridge
Jane Peckham
Eleanor Battie