Family Mediation Week – Mediation in complex financial cases – would Hybrid Mediation suit you?
Mediation is an effective way of reaching a resolution, no matter what assets you hold. Where there are more complex issues to address – such as business interests, overseas assets or inherited wealth – it may need to be considered whether a different model of mediation would suit your circumstances.
Within hybrid mediation, parties attempt to reach a settlement in a legally supported environment. The mediator is able to discuss with the parties the possibility of bringing other professionals and experts into the process to deal with complex and difficult situations, such as accountants, independent financial planners and independent social workers. Having a neutral third party in such circumstances can ensure the highest level of co-operation between the lawyers. The mediator can also assist if there are differences of opinion on legal principles and will often suggest strategies to resolve impasse.
It can also involve the mediator bringing in the separating couple’s lawyers to help advise and support in complex and difficult cases.
Sometimes it may be appropriate for ‘shuttle mediation’ to take place – where the mediator spends time with each party and their solicitor, enabling the opportunity of exploring issues and settlement proposals in greater detail.
Hybrid mediators have undertaken specialist training with Resolution to enable them to utilise both family and civil mediation techniques and procedures. The training enables a hybrid mediator to be more flexible and innovative with the participants.
Whist dealing with complex financial issues can be overwhelming, the mediator can help to provide the necessary support and guidance required. It is important that early consideration is given to potential tax consequences, for example, and so being able to access information and advice within a mediation setting from a third-party professional can be settling and reassuring.
Hybrid mediations sessions should be flexible. Sessions can be arranged in person, but also can be held remotely if distance between the parties is problematic (if one party lives abroad for example), or restrictions are put in place due to the ongoing pandemic.
Hybrid mediation is a forward-thinking and supportive framework, for the clients to work together to reach a successful resolution in a safe, supported and comfortable setting utilising the skills of the mediator and legal advisers. It is increasingly becoming the process option for couples who wish to stay away from the courts.