Family mediation is a free service to help couples who have decided to separate or divorce, or who have already separated, to negotiate their own agreement, taking into account the needs and interests of all involved.
Mediation is not marriage counselling. We're not there to try to convince you to get back together. You don't need to be or have been married to avail of mediation.
What we do is help you and your spouse/partner negotiate your own agreement, taking into account your needs and interests and that of your children. Some of the things you might want to agree on are:
> Parenting the children
> Financial support
> Family home & property
> Other issues related to the separation
If you go to Court, while your lawyer will make submissions on these issues, it will ultimately be the judge that takes the decision. Instead, in mediation, you can make your own agreement that suits you both. Mediation allows people to make their own decisions and hold onto their own power.
How does mediation work?
In mediation, you'll both sit down with a mediator, who won't take sides, but is there to help you reach an agreement. The discussions are confidential. Find out more.
How much will it cost?
The service is free to you. Its paid for out of the money we get from the Oireachtas for civil legal aid.
How do I go about arranging a mediation session
You and your spouse/partner will both need to contact us separately. We'll arrange an appointment for you. In some places, you might have to wait for this appointment.
Who will provide the mediation?
There are currently 17 Legal Aid Board mediation offices: 8 full-time and 9 part-time. For information on opening times and locations please click on this link to contact us.
Each office is staffed by professionally trained and accredited mediators.
What are the advantages of mediation?
> It is a confidential service.
> A balanced agreement is reached that is acceptable to the parties.
> Decisions taken together are more likely to be honoured.
> It promotes communication and co-operation, reducing bitterness and distress.
> Parents are helped to remain as partners in childrearing by developing parenting plans that suit their particular circumstances.
> Parents are helped to manage conflict in a way that protects the best interests of their children.
> The service is currently FREE.
Might I have to wait?
In some locations, you might have to wait for mediation. Find out information about waiting times here.