When couples separate they are often faced with having to somehow afford to run two homes from the same, or less, income than they had previously. Usually this is very difficult and in some cases not possible at all. The stress and insecurity this can cause can often lead the most calm and reasonable of people to panic. Mediators are very experienced in helping people establish what their options are in such circumstances and what things they may investigate that may improve their circumstances. They cannot give financial advice, but they can provide you with practical, real world information, based on their training and extensive experience working with others in similar circumstances, that can help you think of solutions that hadn’t been previously explored.
Financial issues that separating couples frequently have to deal with include child and spousal maintenance, debt, benefits, and pensions. Property will be dealt with in a separate section although it can be closely linked to the other financial issues. There are no strict legal guidelines on what should or will be done on any of these financial issues except in terms of child maintenance. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) provides a calculator that will enable you to establish what the law says should be paid, but that only provides a “back stop”. Separated families are encouraged to agree arrangements themselves without having to rely on CMS involvement. In terms of other financial issues, each situation will be dealt with individually and it is usually very difficult to predict the detail of what would happen if a judge decided the case. Mediators have training on all of these issues and a wealth of experience in helping people deal with them. They will help you work with the financial reality of your situation to try and identify the options that work best for all involved.