Why do I need to provide my financial information if we have agreed everything?
In family mediation we are often working with couples who want to sort out the issues relating to their separation and divorce without going to court.
This can involve discussions about how the divorce will be progressed, arrangements for children with the preparation of a future co-parenting plan and how to deal with the finances so that there is a fair division of the assets.
For any couple to be able to discuss their future financial arrangements they need to know what there is, where it is and what it is worth. We will then go through all that information, often called “full financial disclosure” together to discuss all the options for reaching a fair agreement which can then be converted into a legally binding court order.
Sometimes couples say they don’t need to go through our detailed financial form and provide the information because they already know what there is, where it is and what it is worth. If a couple can agree all these points, then we can use their summary of the financial assets and work with that.
Couples also ask us why some information is even relevant and question why they need to produce it.
These are the main reasons why all the financial information has to be provided;
· In mediation couples will often want to privately discuss with their lawyer the proposals we are going through in mediation to get independent advice about whether they are fair and reasonable in all the circumstances. We recommend that this advice is obtained before anyone is bound to the terms of a final order.
· For there to be effective mediation meetings, weas the mediator, need to know what assets there are so we can help you have discussions and provide you with lots of information about what a fair settlement might look like.
· When an agreement has been reached it can be put into a formal court order called a “Financial Consent Order”. That order can be signed by everyone and sent to the court for approval by a Judge so that it becomes legally binding on everyone. You rarely have to attend court after submitting one of these orders for approval. However, when that order is sent to the court, the Judge will need to know what the couples’ assets so they can assess whether the terms of the proposed order are fair. This is why a form called a “Statement of Information” needs to be completed and that has to include details of all assets, details about income and other important information. Therefore, gathering the financial information early is part of ensuring it is to hand for the completion of this form ready for everything to be filed with the court when an agreement has been reached.
· For a legally binding court order to be effective at preventing future claims it must be based on there having been full financial disclosure. If, at a later date, it is discovered that an asset or assets weren’t disclosed, then an application can be made to a court to change the original court order.
If you think mediation could help you and your partner reach an agreement about your separation and divorce, then give us a call on 0800 206 2258 and we will explain how we can help. Or you could email us at email@example.com.We also have an online booking system and lots of helpful information on our website – www.familymediationandmentoring.co.uk