Co-mediation - working with an IFA
As part of Family Mediation Week, our previous blog looked at how a family consultant can provide support during mediation, but how can an IFA be used in mediation sessions?
When dealing with the division of the family finances during a divorce, we firstly agree what the assets are and how they should be valued. Then we discuss how they should be divided and when and how income is to be allocated. IFAs can be used at any time to help in this process so why are they used in the mediation sessions?
Over the past year, I have been working in mediation sessions with Helen Fraser, a respected local IFA of Orchard House. She says that allowing her to understand why the clients have come to the decisions they have and what they are trying to achieve has been invaluable in tailoring her advice to their situation and making it bespoke. From the clients' point of view, they tell me that getting to know Helen during the process of mediation is vital in building up trust and allowing them both to have a relationship with a neutral advisor. The alternative is for a person unknown to both parties to be used or for one of them to recommend someone they have used in the past and who may not be perceived to be impartial.
This is another way of ensuring that both parties to mediation have as much confidence as possible in the process and that the mediation has the best chance of success.