The end of free movement: what SMEs need to know
Amanda and John had lived together for 9 years (they weren’t married) and had been separated for approximately a year when they came into mediation. Amanda was 38 and John was 41. They had two young daughters aged 7 and 3 who lived with Amanda. Both were both working.
Since their separation John and Amanda had tried to reach an agreement through their solicitors. They had found the process costly and contentious and were keen to draw matters to a conclusion, reach an agreement and go their separate ways without further debate and discord.
Initially they agreed to mediate in relation to financial matters. They were able, through mediation, to agree arrangements in relation to the sale of their jointly owned home and agree how the proceeds of sale would be divided. They also agreed how a number of outstanding loans would be ‘shared’ and paid from the proceeds of sale. In addition, they agreed a division of the contents (furniture and art) from the house. They also reached agreement in relation to child maintenance, an issue which had been particularly difficult between them.
During the mediation, John and Amanda both raised a number of issues relating to the children and as a result agreed to have a separate mediation meeting dealing solely with arrangements for their daughters. They both came to that mediation with clear ideas as to what they wanted to achieve and were able, in the space of 2 hours, to air their concerns and agree a schedule of contact for the following 12 months. This covered issues such as holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the children’s birthdays, weekend contact and Christmas. They also reached an agreement in relation to their eldest daughter’s change of school, something which they feared would be particularly difficult but having established a dialogue they found relatively easy to deal with face to face. They even went so far as to agree the best way to introduce future boyfriends and girlfriends and both expressed surprise that they were able to achieve so much.
They therefore left mediation with documentation (for their solicitors to advise them on) confirming their agreement in relation to financial matters and contact arrangements going forward.
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