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Family Mediation Week – Friday’s focus: conversations about financial matters

As part of Family Mediation Week we will be sharing a blog on each of our daily topics.  These blogs are written by Louisa Whitney from LKW Family Mediation, an FMC Accredited and Child Inclusive Mediator and Professional Practice Consultant.  We will also be busting a myth in each blog as there are many misconceptions around the family mediation process and we’re keen to use this week to share correct and clear information.

Today’s myth one:  it’s impossible to create two homes from one home.

Today’s myth two:  Mediators won’t get financial information when helping you sort out financial issues

Many people in unhappy relationships worry about separating from their partner because they worry that they will end up unable to afford to pay their bills or worse still homeless.  There are many common misconceptions around who might be entitled to what money when a couple separate.  It’s natural and normal to be concerned about what the future might hold financially.  If you have only just been able to make ends meet in one home then trying to turn this into two homes may not be easy.

This is where mediation can be hugely helpful.  The mediator creates a safe and supported space for the separating couple and a step by step process for resolving the financial issues.  The mediator will explain what financial information needs to be provided and help you ensure that you both provide the right information.  They will then help you to understand this information so you have a clear picture of your financial situation.

The mediator will support you both to look at what money you need to house yourselves.  There may be different options and you will be able to look at all options in mediation to see what they look like financially and to explain how you each feel about them.  By working together in this supported way you can understand each other’s priorities and objectives and find a solution that will work for both of you.  Ultimately any resolution needs you to both be housed and able to make ends meet or it isn’t workable.

In order to achieve this there may be difficult conversations around potential compromises and these conversations can generate a number of difficult emotions.  The mediator will help you both to say what you need to say, and to ensure you each feel heard.  You can then explore the pros and cons of different options to find one that will work best for both of you.  The mediator may also be able to suggest options or support that you may not have thought of.

For more information find a mediator local to you and ask them any questions that you have.