Separating Couples: What is usually in a mediated settlement agreement?

JH-Mediation-Letterkenny-Relevant-TopicsThe benefit of mediating out of a failed relationship is that both parties can make decisions themselves which suit their own particular circumstances. The process is relatively inexpensive timely, and flexible to the needs of the parties. In mediation almost all of the issues which arise can be discussed and agreement reached on the majority. This agreement can then be shown to the respective solicitors and if necessary can form the basis for a judicial separation in court or other legally binding agreement.

Mediators are asked about what issues come up frequently in mediation sessions and what issues have often been resolved by agreement? The following is not an exhaustive list but covers the most common issues raised.


Who gets custody of the children? The visitation rights can be agreed. Who gets the children at holidays and other occasions? It can be agreed what presents and on what occasions the children get presents by each parent and the value agreed for same.


There is usually maintenance to be paid and if so for how long and how much a month? (Will be intertwined with maintenance for the children)

Family Home

Who will remain in and have sole residence in the family home and for how long? Sometimes the home can be sold or sold after the children depart by putting it on the open market and the proceeds split equally between the parties.

One party can buy the other party’s share in the house. Agreement can be reached that one party will leave the home on certain occasions while the other party has use of it. (e.g. Summer holidays with the children)

Invariably there will be a mortgage on the home and it can be agreed on who will pay what amount.

The parties can agree who will pay for the house insurance, heating and electricity bills, property taxes and charges or deal with maintenance costs. Maintenance of the outer part of the property can be agreed such as fencing, grass and hedge cutting, painting and redecorating as the need arises.

The division of the household contents can be agreed.

Succession rights can also be discussed or disposed of.

Bank accounts/Debts

Agreement can be reached on the closing or otherwise of joint accounts. The personal savings of the couple can be discussed and if there is to be any claim on these by either party. If there are debts, who will repay them and in what proportion?

Family Car(s)

In the event of there being one family car it can be agreed who will keep possession of it? Will Joint ownership be signed over? It can be agreed who keeps what car if there is more than one family car.

Health insurance

If private health insurance is preferred or to be maintained then it can be agreed to whom it should apply to and who is to pay what proportion.

Personal belongings

Each party can agree about what constitutes their belongings collected over time. Sometimes the family dog is an issue here. A lot of belongings are bought with the joint family income but are of use to one party only (e.g. golf clubs) Agreement is often sought over belongings that both parties value highly or have sentimental value.

Separating Couples forced into staying in the same house

Issues that can crop up here are: parenting time, finances, sleeping arrangements, privacy, agreeing times for communal areas such as the kitchen, and sharing household tasks.

Agreement about significant others being allowed (or not) into the home is a common issue.

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