tom farrell financial mediation
mediator and financial neutral
the big questions.
how do we help our children?
Research shows us that children want to know what is happening, but that they don’t want to be involved in what has gone wrong, or encounter blame. They have their own lives to lead and they want you to work together to support that. Ordinary, everyday things are important: routine, school, play, bedtime. The financial implications of parting permeate every aspect of the lives that you enable for your children. It is vital to plan effectively for them, as a part of the agreements that you reach with each other.
The specialist services I provide will help to introduce a financial focus, so that you can achieve what you want for your children now and for their future.
If we don’t stand up for children, then we don’t stand for much.
Marian Write Edelman
how do we sort out the money?
So it is common for one or other of you to have driven financial arrangements throughout your relationship. Similarly, one of you may have taken responsibility for balancing the household expenditure with income. As a result, you might feel ill-equipped to deal with elements of the negotiations for a financial settlement. Financial products are complex, their tax treatment ever changing. Establishing the likely costs of life after parting is essential.
I will gather the relevant information for you and explain it to you in a straightforward way. I will help you to explore the options that are open to you, so that you can achieve a settlement that makes sense to you.
Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.
where are we going to live?
The home can be the largest asset in the relationship. If you have children, then you do not just have yourselves to consider. Issues surrounding property can be complex: estate agents, legal fees, stamp duty, mortgages… the list goes on.
I will help you to understand the options and get the right advice. Now is not the time to rely on assumptions, you must arm yourselves with the right information and take the time to understand it, before you make decisions.
In the middle of every difficulty, lies opportunity.
what will life be like after this?
But what happens next? If you do not have an idea of what lies beyond the finishing line, how will you negotiate your way towards it effectively?
I will help you to look forward: to what you want. What you need. Fear of the unknown can be the biggest obstacle of all.
Leap, and the net will appear.
I will help you understand the options open to you, both now and for the future.
Family Mediation seeks to empower couples to make their own decisions, while minimising conflict and cost. Decisions are negotiated privately. These can then, if appropriate, be legally bound through the courts. There is an opportunity for imaginative solutions that make sense to you, which would often be missed through the traditional court process.
I will use my expertise to help you generate options, but the decisions are always made by you. I specialise in Mediation for financial arrangements on separation or divorce. I also offer focused Financial Mediation, as a part of the Collaborative Law process or a traditional court settlement.
My extensive financial planning experience means that I can offer a significant level of support in financial matters, gathering all relevant information and putting it into context. I can help you to explore the ‘what ifs’ with all the resources of a regulated Financial Planning company at my disposal, allowing for detailed cash flow modelling and analysis of assets.
I am a member of the College of Mediators and adhere to their code of conduct and professional standards.
If you are unsure as to whether I can assist you, please feel free to call or email me for an informal chat about your situation. If required, I am able to assemble a team of suitable specialists for most situations, from an extensive network of professional colleagues.
As the title suggests, I act in a neutral capacity, to bring financial expertise to your negotiations. This can help to reduce cost. The Financial Planning download explains the processes that a Financial Neutral can assist with in more detail. If you are unsure as to whether I can assist you, please feel free to call or email me for an informal chat about your situation. If required, I am able to assemble a team of suitable specialists for most situations, from an extensive network of professional colleagues.
Unlike Mediation, each person will have a Lawyer and all participants sign a contract, known as a Participation Agreement, which binds everyone to the Collaborative process.
If the process breaks down, the Lawyers are not permitted to continue to represent you. Agreement is reached through a series of face to face meetings, often with the involvement of other specially trained neutral professionals. Far from adding cost to the process, this interdisciplinary approach ensures that you get the right help, from the right people, at the right time.
The aim is to reach agreement without recourse to the courts, but with the benefit of legal and other expert advice throughout the process. If a divorce is required, then the Lawyers will use the final agreement as the basis for court orders.
Most professionals who work within this field are members of Resolution and adhere to their Code of Practice. Their public website is an excellent resource.
As an Affiliate member of Resolution, I am one of a small number of Financial Planners to have achieved accreditation to work as a Financial Neutral in the Collaborative process.
In addition to working as a Family Mediator, I am also a Financial Planner; accredited by Resolution (formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association). I conduct my regulated work as a Financial Planner through Merlin Financial Consultants, with offices on High Holborn in London. In fact, this company provides superb administrative and technical support for all of the work that I do.
Financial advice is tightly regulated and rightly so. However, neutral advice is not a regulated activity. It is important to understand the boundaries. Much of the generic work that I do as a Financial Planner feeds into my processes as a Family Mediator and Financial Neutral. However, I am also authorised as a Regulated Individual with the Financial Conduct Authority and can give specific Financial Planning advice, where appropriate.
Merlin Financial Consultants Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
It is natural to worry about cost. Of course, I would argue that my assistance very often saves far more than it costs, but the cost, nevertheless, is there. In all aspects of my work, I charge fees. I charge an hourly rate for my time, regardless of the nature of the work that I have been commissioned to do or the number of people involved. I feel that this is the fairest way of ensuring that my clients know where they stand. However, if it is possible to do so and the nature of the work allows it, I am happy to agree a fixed fee for specific projects.
Although the nature of the Financial Services industry is ever-changing, it is still possible in certain circumstances for fees to be settled via financial products. In these instances, clients may choose this route to settle fees, if they wish it. However, I will only do this to the level of the fees agreed and only then if I am certain that the client understands the implications of selecting this method of payment. My promise to clients is that they will always be fully aware of my costs, before the work starts and that there will be a regular account of fees as they accrue.
Of course, there is also the emotional cost to consider, for you and those around you. It is my experience that alternatives to the traditional court process, such as Mediation and Collaborative Law can certainly reduce the long term effect of separation and divorce, because the participants are in control of the process. If you have any questions about cost, please do not hesitate to contact me for an informal chat about your circumstances.
downloads and links.
pdf forms, brochures and other resources
You will need a pdf viewer to read these documents, which can be downloaded here, if you do not already have it installed on your computer.
This provides further detailed information about the way my specialist Financial Planning services can help you. You might wish to print the document out and give it to your partner, Lawyer or Mediator.
This covers Data Protection and explains the neutral boundaries. I need a signed copy of this before I can work with you in a neutral capacity.
This is a digital capture form, for you to record your financial information. Instructions are on the front page. You must complete this form digitally and email or upload it back to me.
This covers Data Protection and fee rates. I need a signed copy of this before I can work with you as a mediator.
From time to time, I write or co-write articles for national or specialist press publications. Links will be posted here.
workshops and seminars: feedback please
I regularly present seminars and workshops, particularly to professional groups.
If you have attended a recent event, please take a couple of minutes to give some online feedback here.
Illustrations | Nicola Smee
Graphic Design | warrengraphics
Web design | Henrik Anderson
Divorce Support Group | an excellent service providing emotional support for those going through divorce or separation.
Resolution | the public elements of this website are an excellent source of information.
College of Mediators | lots of useful information about mediation.
I am a strong advocate of interdisciplinary team working. I believe that it leads to better outcomes, with less emotional and financial cost. So, the relationships that I have with other professionals are vitally important.
Family Lawyers, Mediators, Family Consultants, Accountants, Financial Planners.
To those of you that I already have the pleasure of working with, thank you for your continued support. To those of you that I am yet to have the pleasure of meeting, I am always happy to have an informal chat about any cases that you feel might benefit from my input. If you want to talk to others who have worked with me, I can put you in touch.