Dealing with financial disclosure in family mediation- in relation to finances

It is really important when people in mediation about financial issues in preparation for divorce, that they go through the full disclosure process to set out the key financial information by each of you. This will mean you won’t need to repeat this process with the Solicitors (Form E) in order to finalise your divorce. The mediator will take you through the disclosure process in the first mediation session, and we will send you a form to complete in advance and request that you bring evidence along with you to the first mediation appointment. (or sent to us in advance if working online)

Here is a list of all the types of documents that may need to be brought to your first mediation session. Some may not be relevant to you, so if they are not, do not worry. 

  1. Family home: If you are coming to mediation to discuss the assets within the family home, then for any property that is being discussed you must bring with you three new valuations for the properties. A good way to do this is that participant 1 gets a valuation, participant 2 gets a valuation, and then the third is chosen jointly.
  2. Mortgage statements: You must also bring up to date mortgage statements for any properties in dispute that are subject to a mortgage. They must cover the last three months.
  3. Bank accounts: Any accounts that are held must be evidenced with statements from the last three months. This includes both sole and joint accounts.
  4. Savings: Similarly, you will be required to bring up-to-date statements for any savings accounts.
  5. Investments: If you have any investments, you will need to bring documentation that shows the up-to-date value of these.
  6. Other assets: Additionally, you may be coming to mediation to discuss high value assets, such as cars, paintings, boats, furniture, jewellery, watches, etc.) If this is the case, you will need to bring documents that show the value of these items.
  7. Business interests: If you have an interest in any business, you should bring the business accounts that cover the last 2 years. Furthermore, you should also bring documentation that confirms the value of the business.
  8. Life insurance: If you have a life insurance policy, you must provide documentation that shows the surrender value and the terms and conditions.
  9. Private pensions: For any pensions, you must get a cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) of the pension. You should contact your pension scheme provider for this.
  10. State pensions: You should also bring a “State Pension Forecast”, which you can obtain by completing forms BR19 and BR20, which can be found online.
  11. Debts and liabilities: Where any debts or liabilities are held you must bring up to date statements that show the amounts owed. This does not include overdrawn bank accounts, but does include credit cards. Your overdrawn bank accounts will be shown through your bank account statements (point 3).
  12. Income: If you are receiving PAYE income, you must provide your latest P60 and your payslips from the last 3 months. If you are self-employed, then you should provide your latest tax return or a letter from your accountant showing your earnings and tax payments. You may be able to access this information by setting up/logging in to your Government Gateway Account.
  13. Welfare benefits: If you receive any benefits, you must provide details of this. You can get this by contacting the DWP.

The Mediator will draft an Open Financial Statement which is not legally privileged so this will be sent to the court when applying for any financial consent order to finalise the divorce.

It is important to note that if for any reason either of you don’t fully disclose information in mediation then in the future if that came to light then a court could set aside any court orders made and revisit the entire situation.