Mr & Mrs W.
Mr & Mrs W have been married for 21 years and have two older children, one child is away at University and the other in her last year at school. Mr & Mrs W know that they have been growing apart and that their marriages has come to an end. Now that their children are older and more independent they felt it was the right time to move to a different, separate future. Mr & Mrs W agreed that their priority in mediation was to sort out their finances. They did not want or need to make child arrangements.
EB&Co carefully and clearly explained the steps that Mr and Mrs W would have to take in their financial disclosure process. We explained what financial information would need to be provided and when. Then using this information as a framework and in the managed environment of a mediation session encouraged Mr and Mrs W to plan what they would need as they move towards their new futures. We tested their agreements by asking them to consider alternative options and by raising possible alternative scenarios.
By guiding our clients through their financial plans we actively encourage them to consider their children's needs as well as their own individual needs but what is fair and affordable to all those involved.
Mr & Mrs B.
Mr and Mrs B have been married for 15 years and have two children (aged 12yrs and 14yrs). They are committed to keeping their relationship as amicable as possible for the sake of their children. They came to mediation having agreed equal shared care of the children and with a verbal agreement to keep the family home so there was as little disruption to the children as possible.
With guidance from EB&Co Mr and Mrs B provided all their financial information prior to their first session and came hoping to reach an agreement. During the session, as EB&Co questioned Mr and Mrs B more closely on their plans, it became clear that in fact Mrs B wanted to sell the family home despite the disruption to the children. Mr B was adamant that he did not want to sell the house.
EB&Co suggested that it might be helpful for Mr and Mrs B to have an understanding of what their children thought about the changes in their family life. A child inclusive mediation session was arranged. A carefully managed conversation between the children and the specialist mediator, who then reported back what the children had to say, allowed Mr and Mrs B to have a better appreciation of what was actually important to the children. Having heard what the children said Mr and Mrs B were able to move towards an agreement about the family home.
The ‘voice of the child’ is heard in mediation using Child Inclusive Mediation. EB&Co offer the opportunity for children (over the age of 10yrs) to talk to a specially trained mediator about what is really important to them.
Mr & Mrs C.
Mr and Mrs C have been married for 9 years, they have three young children (8yrs, 6yrs and 3yrs). Mrs C has given up work to look after the children full-time and feels that Mr C does not give enough time to the children. Mr C works long hours. Communication between them is not easy and Mr C recently moved out of the family home into a rented property. They have a verbal agreement about the children but are finding it hard to make this work. They have not discussed their finances at all.
EB&Co explained to Mr and Mrs C that they can choose to discuss any of the issues raised by the end of their relationship in whatever order is most important to them. Mr and Mrs C agreed that the children were their priority and wanted to work towards an arrangement for them before discussing their finances.
EB&Co started the discussion by asking Mr C about his recent move out of the family home. In the safe, neutral environment of mediation Mr C felt able to express how much he missed the children, equally Mrs C then explained how unsupported she felt coping with the demands of three young children.
EB&Co enabled Mr and Mrs C to listen to each other and in doing so acknowledge the common ground between them as loving parents. The understanding that EB&Co were able to create allowed Mr & Mrs C conversation to move forwards towards a workable solution.
This type of conversation is far from easy for clients and must be managed with both empathy and an eye to the future. EB&Co understands the cycle of hurt feelings and angry thoughts that can lead to poor decisions or choices. By understanding this cycle we allow clients to find their common ground and work towards their own solutions.
Bob and Ann had been in a relationship for 14 years, and had 4 children, ages 11, 9, 7 and 3yrs old, though they never married. They had shared a family home for 10 years, however Bob moved out 3 years ago to move in with his new partner.
Ann has a debilitating illness that impacts her ability to work, and as she has been predominantly the primary carer in the home to look after the children, she has very little borrowing potential. Bob is paying child maintenance to Ann, and they both contribute 50/50 for the monthly mortgage repayments.
Bob is struggling to maintain the child maintenance amount as well as 50% of the mortgage, and is sinking further and further into debt. Ann’s illness is making looking after the children much more difficult, and Bob does have them as much as possible, however he lives in a 2-bed cottage, with his partner and her son, therefore the space is very limited. Adding 4 more bodies makes things very cosy, but obviously not suitable long term.
Bob would like to sell the house to release the equity so that he can buy a bigger house. If they sold the house however, Ann would not be able to purchase a replacement and would be forced to rent. With some cash in her bank, her benefits would cease, and her equity would be swallowed by paying rent.
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