Separating Couples Mediation Donegal
Mediation provides a safe space for you and your ex-partner to come to agreement in relation to decisions about your children, the family home, finances and the future. The process ensures that you are both treated equally and given equal right to be heard in a safe space, and to have your wishes discussed and taken into account. Mediation is different to the adversarial court-based system. With the help of a professional mediator, you and your ex-partner can make your own decisions about your unique situation and that of your family, rather than having a Judge make these important decisions for you. Mediation allows you choice and control.
- The Parenting arrangements of children
- Education, schooling or childcare arrangements
- Family holidays and special occasions
- Financial support
- Presents and financial gifts to the children
- Family home and property, division of assets
- Other problems related to the separation
- Relationship and contact (if any) into the future
The mediator is neither a judge nor an arbitrator and does give decisions on the rights or wrongs of the actions of the parties. The mediator actively supports both sides in identifying their issues and needs, and in exploring how these needs can best be met. Mediators use their expertise to support and facilitate the separating couple as they work through the issues that concern them. The mediator encourages and assists the parties to listen to each other, to understand the needs of each side and to find a workable and lasting solution.
Mediation fosters good communication. The mediator ensures that the parties have gathered all of the relevant information and that both sides are fully informed of the necessary information pertaining to the issues being mediated, whether in relation to their children, their finances or other specific issues. The mediator will advise the parties to seek advice on their rights prior to, and during, the process..
Because of the neutral position of the mediator they can difficult questions should the need arise. The parties make the decisions and the mediator will reality –test proposed decisions, and manage and documents agreed decisions into a written document if the parties so wish. The mediator ensures that all issues that the parties want to discuss are addressed and encourages full disclosure of all assets and finance. The parties are encouraged to seek legal advice on any settlement which can then be made into a legally binding agreement as part of their separation.
The mediation joint session usually takes place off-site at a neutral venue and with the mediator and all the parties present. A virtual service is also offered if parties cannot attend for healthcare or other reasons if this is suitable to the dispute itself.
During the mediation a separate room can be made available to allow the participants an opportunity to talk privately with the mediator, themselves, or their legal representatives. All information given to the mediator during the mediation’s separate discussions will be kept confidential, unless express permission is given to offer it in the interest of progress.
The mediator often goes back and forth between the parties to seek an agreement between both sides before bringing both parties back together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do we have to meet face to face?
In addition, more recently the use of virtual technology has increased and the sessions can be held in meeting rooms such as Zoom and other online platforms.
Do I need a solicitor?
There is however a number of complex legal disputes where solicitors are in the room. They are there to provide legal advice to their own participant and at their own expense. They usually will not participate in the discussions unless invited to do so.
If participants reach a settlement they are advised to get legal advice before making the settlement legally binding.
When is the best time to try mediation?
Can I bring someone with me?
Is it too late if the case is already in court?
How long does mediation take?
The mediation itself rarely goes over two hourly sessions per day unless progress is being made towards a settlement. Sessions can be adjourned for information to be sought, legal or expert advice to be obtained, for a bedding-in period of a settlement or for a number of other reasons. Cases differ depending on the nature of the dispute. Separating couple mediation for example usually takes no more than five sessions.
If the mediator feels that no real progress is being made he/she will suggest ending the process.
Can it take place online?
Can I suggest to the other party to mediate with me?
You could refer them to this website and ask them to have a look at it.
They could call our office or request a call -back and the mediator will explain the process and answer any questions they might have.