WHY IS A FIAM NEEDED?
A FIAM is an independent neutral assessment of the assets built up during a relationship.
When a relationship breaks down assets are typically split between the parties. The FIAM provides the parties with an analysis that provides an overview of each asset, confirming the options available and suggesting whereby further information is required. This information assist in allowing meaningful discussions.
These discussions and negotiations may be between the parties themselves or be assisted and supported by others (Mediator / Lawyer / Barrister etc). A FIAM is the initial step in understanding the true value of assets which allows for a fair settlement.
The idea behind the pension information assessment meeting (PIAM) being discussed at the Brewin Dolphin annual family law conference in September 2020.
After much debate PIAMS have become FIAMS, the financial information assessment meeting. The concept that solicitors, barristers and mediators can refer parties to a single financial expert (called a financial neutral) who will work with both parties to help them to understand their finances together.
With this information the parties can proceed to negotiate a settlement, obtain a pension expert's report if needed and enter into the terms of a financial consent order to be approved by the court.
This change in practice by solicitors and mediators should give the couple more confidence to make decisions regarding the division of finances during the divorce or dissolution process.
FIAMS IN MORE DETAIL
Mena Ruparel further develops the FIAM concept during a webinar hosted by Class Legal this explains what a FIAM is, who can carry them out and the benefits they bring to all parties.