Mediation is a service to help couples in Ireland who have decided to separate or divorce, or who have already separated, to negotiate their own terms of agreement, while addressing the needs and interests of all involved. Mediation allows people to make their own decisions.
The Family Mediation Service encourages the separating couple to co-operate with each other in working out mutually acceptable arrangements on all or any of the following:
The Family Mediation Service describes the role of the mediator as follows:
A professionally trained mediator assists the couple to reach their own agreement.
For an appointment with the Family Mediation Service, both parties must contact the service and confirm their willingness to attend.
Mediation usually takes between two and six sessions. Each session lasts approximately one hour.
Most mediations end with a written document that sets out all the details of the couple's agreement. This can then be taken to solicitors to be drawn into a Legal Deed of Separation and/or Decree of Divorce.
When a couple has reached an agreement, a session is offered to parents to invite their children in to discuss their new family arrangements.
This service is for married and non-married couples (including same-sex couples).
The Family Mediation Service is free.
For an appointment, both parties must contact the service and confirm willingness to attend.
In November 2011, the Family Mediation Service was transferred to the Legal Aid Board. You can find a list of full-time and part-time Family Mediation Service offices, as well as information on the family Mediation Service on the Legal Aid Board's website. They also have a leaflet on the service.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.