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Two-day Training Programme: Moving Through Conflict


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Draft Mediation Bill 2012
Mediation Context in Ireland

Separating Couples Mediation

 

Mediation is a confidential, voluntary, “without prejudice” process in which a neutral third party, the mediator, helps you to constructively discuss and negotiate all issues surrounding your divorce or separation. This includes decisions about your children, finances, property, division of other assets and any additional issues relevant to your separation agreement. When a case settles at mediation, the mediator will record the couple‚Äôs decisions in a written mediated agreement. This mediated agreement itself is not legally binding in the case of separating couples, but is intended for your solicitor to use in preparing a legally binding Deed od Separation.

Goals of Family/Separating Couples Mediation


Is mediation a confidential process?

Discussions are legally privileged which means that what you say during mediation cannot later be used in Court as evidence. But any financial facts provided by either of you to the mediation process may be used subsequently in court. If an agreement is not reached then the financial disclosures made by you during mediation can be used by a solicitor as a basis for further discussions. Other discussions in mediation, excepting financial disclosures are confidential unless you jointly agree that information should be disclosed, or unless the mediator is worried that someone will come to harm.

What is the role of the mediator?

The mediators job is to act as an impartial third party and manage the mediation process, helping you to exchange information, ideas and feelings constructively and ensuring that you make informed decisions. The mediator has no power to impose any settlement - responsibility for all decisions remains with yourselves since you know better than anyone else what is right for your family. The mediator will encourage you to seek professional legal and financial advice in order to inform your decision making. The mediator does not provide a counseling service.

How does mediation work?

A trained mediator will meet with you both, separately first, and then jointly, for a series of sessions, in which you will be helped to:


How will money and property be tackled?

You will be asked to provide details of expected income and spending (as far as this can reasonably be predicted) and details of the value of your assets by:


How will I know if my decisions are in my best legal interests?

A mediator does not give legal advice. The mediator is there to create a productive space where a couple can constructively negotiate their decisions for the future. However, the mediator will encourage the parties to seek legal advice throughout the mediation process as appropriate, regarding: Making a Statutory Declaration as to Means; Legal rights; Divorce proceedings; Property ownership.

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