Mediation is when a divorcing or separating couple meet with a specially trained mediator to discuss the division of assets and child care arrangements. It is a confidential and constructive method of dispute resolution, providing a safe environment in which you can finalise the details of your separation.

Who is mediation for?

Mediation is for anyone involved in a family dispute. Typically, this will be couples going through a separation or divorce. You do not have to be married; non-married couples can benefit from mediation too.

What can mediation resolve?

Mediation can help you resolve disputes regarding your finances, such as the division of the family home, pensions, savings, debts and personal possessions. It can also help you resolve child care arrangements, such as where the children should live, how much maintenance should be paid, and when they spend time with each parent.

Why use mediation?

If your relationship has broken down, it can be very difficult to discuss these things between you. Coming to a mutually agreeable solution may be even harder. Mediation allows you to come together in a non-confrontational environment to talk about a potential way forward. The mediator will guide the conversation, ensuring it remains on track.

What happens at mediation?

You and your ex-partner meet with a specially trained mediator. During one or more sessions, you discuss the issues at hand. The mediator then helps you explore the different possibilities, with the aim of finding a solution you are both happy with. The mediator is entirely impartial – he or she does not take sides, but rather is there to help you reach a settlement.

What happens if we resolve our dispute?

If you resolve your dispute, your mediator can draw up the details of your agreement in a document called a Note of Mediated Agreement. This is not legally-binding, but you can ask a solicitor to turn it into a contract or a Deed of Separation. It is recommended that you seek legal advice before doing so.

What happens if we do not resolve our dispute?

If you cannot reach an agreement, you can explore other methods of dispute resolution, such as negotiating via your solicitors or collaborative law. Court proceedings should be a final resort, because decision-making powers will be taken out of your hands and placed with a judge instead.

What else should I know about mediation?

Mediation is voluntary – you do not have to do it if you do not want to. It is entirely confidential, meaning whatever you say during mediation cannot later be reproduced in court. Also, it is worth emphasising again that the mediator is impartial and unbiased. He or she will not judge anyone.

What are the benefits of mediation?

Mediation gives you the opportunity to make arrangements in a non-confrontational manner. This enhances co-operation between you, which is important if you have children. It ensures you reach a decision that you each feel is fair – something which might not happen if you take the matter to court. It also helps you prevent the stress and expense of a lengthy legal battle.

Speak to our mediator

If you would like to know more about mediation, please contact us at Mullins & Treacy Solicitors. Partner Susan Mullins is a qualified trained mediator and can guide you through the mediation process, helping you reach a long-lasting agreement. We are client focused and results driven.

Call us on 051 391 488 or email reception@mullinstreacy.ie for a no obligation enquiry.

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