George and Sam came to mediation to talk about finances. They had been separated for eight years and had been trying to reach agreements through solicitors for five years. Sam had one boy from her previous relationship and they had a child together Joe, now aged thirteen years. Joe had originally lived with Sam but had moved to live with his dad following an argument with his Mum. She was concerned that George was not setting boundaries for Joe.
Sam and George attended two sessions of mediation. At the first meeting they disclosed the documentation relating to their financial situation. Details of the family house mortgage and pension. In the meeting they agreed that Joe would be consulted as part of the mediation. A different mediator talked to Joe about how he was feeling about his parents’ divorce and separation. Joe said he would like his parents to “talk about anything except finances”. The mediator talked to Sam and George about how Joe was feeling. Once both parents realized how the arguments about the financial arrangements were affecting their son, they reached an agreement about how to divide the proceeds of the family house so they could each buy a smaller property with enough room for Joe to stay with both. They also agreed a division of their pensions. The mediator then prepared the documentation for the solicitors.
Two sessions of mediation and a child consultation resolved a situation which had lasted five years.