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Family Mediation Service

Information

What is mediation?

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.

How can mediation help?

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:

  • Parenting the children
  • Financial support
  • Family home and property
  • Other problems related to the separation

The Family Mediation Service describes the role of the mediator as follows:

  • To see a couple together and help them settle their differences.
  • To create a climate in which neither party dominates but in which both parties participate fully in good faith.
  • To create and maintain an atmosphere of co-operation and responsibility.
  • To help couples deal with difficult emotional issues that can prevent them reaching agreement.
  • To help couples reach agreement that they believe to be fair, equitable and workable.

How does the service operate?

A professionally trained mediator assists the couple to reach their own agreement.

  • Both parties attend.
  • Discussions are confidential.
  • The mediator does not take sides.

For an appointment with the Family Mediation Service, both parties must contact the service and confirm their willingness to attend.

How long does it take?

Mediation usually takes between two and six sessions. Each session lasts approximately one hour.

Outcome

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.

What is a family session?

When a couple has reached an agreement, a session is offered to parents to invite their children in to discuss their new family arrangements.

What are the advantages of mediation?

These include:

  • The Family Mediation Service is a confidential service.
  • Each mediated agreement deals with the particular needs of the people involved.
  • A balanced agreement is reached that is acceptable to both parties.
  • Parents are helped to remain as partners in childrearing by developing parenting plans that are personal to each family.

Rules

This service is for married and non-married couples (including same-sex couples).

Rates

The Family Mediation Service is free.

How to apply

For an appointment, both parties must contact the service and confirm willingness to attend.

Where To apply

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.

The Legal Aid Board

Quay Street
Caherciveen
Kerry
Ireland

Tel:066 947 1000
Locall:1890 615 200
Homepage: http://www.legalaidboard.ie
Email: info@legalaidboard.ie

Page updated: 30 March 2012

Language

Gaeilge

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Contact Us

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.