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The role of financial advisors and other experts in mediation

The role of financial advisors and other experts in mediation

Mediation is a completely voluntary process in which parties experiencing a separation or divorce can appoint an independent and impartial third party known as a Mediator to assist them in communicating with each other with a view to reaching an agreement about their property and finances.

In mediation, it is not uncommon for financial issues to arise which require particular consideration.  These can include the following:

 

Pensions

  • How to obtain up to date valuations, known as Cash Equivalent Values (“CEV”);
  • How can pensions be shared between parties that are divorcing, and would there be a difference if parties wished to achieve equality of income or capital on retirement; and
  • Where can pension monies that are derived from a spouse’s pension be credited.

 

Business interests

  • How can shares in a limited company be valued.

 

Tax

  • What tax planning should a newly separated married couple adopt.
  • What would be the Capital Gains Tax payable on a disposal of assets i.e. shares or property.

 

Mortgages

  • What capacity does each party have to take out a mortgage – how much can they borrow and what would be the terms of the borrowing.

 

Investments

  • How can capital be invested in order to provide separating or divorcing parties with a regular income stream.

 

A Pensions on Divorce Expert (“PODE”) can be instructed on a joint basis by the parties attending mediation to prepare a report, which shall outline the various ways in which pensions can be shared between them in order to achieve parity of income or capital on retirement.  In preparing their report, the PODE shall obtain up to date CEVs for all pensions held by each party and confirm the charges payable to implement a Pension Sharing Order.  In many cases, a PODE shall be a Pensions Actuary.  The mediator can provide details as to suitable PODEs and their charges.

Financial planners can also assist discussions in mediation by providing advice to parties on which pension schemes will accept monies from a spouse’s pension, as well as provide cash flow projections as to the performance of those schemes.  In addition, they can provide advice on how capital can be invested in order to yield an income in the future to one or both parties.

Mortgage brokers can be consulted on a joint or individual basis by parties to provide reports on their borrowing capacities.  This can be useful in discussions concerning each party’s need to rehouse themselves and any children they have.

Accountants and Business Advisors can also be consulted, on a joint or individual basis by parties, to provide specialist advice on tax issues and valuing shares in limited companies.

By involving the experts above in mediation, it can add a great deal of value to the process.  The parties attending mediation will be much more informed about their financial matters, which will help to guide their discussions towards reaching pragmatic solutions.  As indicated above, the experts can be called upon by the parties to act as a single joint expert or they can act on an individual basis.  Some of the experts, if qualified, can also act as co-mediators, which can add a useful dimension to the meetings.

At Tisshaws, we can arrange for an initial consultation with one of our lawyers where we can advise on the merits of your particular case and discuss whether it would be suitable for mediation.

If you would like to book initial consultation at Tisshaws at a fixed fee of £50.00 inclusive of VAT, please contact 01444 472700 or email info@tisshawssolicitors.co.uk.

The role of financial advisors and other experts in mediation

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