Registering for family mediation (Courts)
Following a pilot family mediation initiative, launched in May 2011 as part of the new family law service in Dolphin House, Dublin, LABFMS courts services offers a mediation focussed process as an alternative to litigation, concentrating on the welfare of children, addressing custody, access and guardianship matters and also those which have a maintenance element. The District Court staffs advise the parties in suitable cases, of the availability of, and information about, the mediation service provided. If a party is interested, they are directed to the Mediation service, where they will meet with a mediator who will provide them with information on the mediation process (Information Session). Following this information session, the mediator having gleaned relevant information from Party 1 will give the hard-copy file to the clerical officer for input.
When registering a new case for the courts (reference number will have “CN” tag), the database user is only required to enter the details for Party 1 (click on “Courts”) enabling the case to become active without the 2nd party confirming they wish to attend. In this case the P2 will be listed as unknown. Note:
- input the mobile phone details for Court cases in “Phone Number” field; do not use the SMS Mobile Number.
- Input any court orders
Click on “Open Mediation Sessions Page” and “Add New Session” to input details of “1st Info Session”.
Create appointment and assign mediator. It is necessary to proceed through the following sequence when inputting appointments that have already taken place:
- “Offer P1” choosing “invite at session”,
- P1 confirmed
- P1 attended
If the mediator has obtained the relevant information, and Party 1 wishes to proceed in the process, then 2nd party will be invited by way of a letter (template letter available on “documents”). The “2nd info” appointment is created in the same way by “add new session” and inputting the prerequisite details. In “courts” type mediation the first session will always be “1st info session” followed by “2nd info session” and then if both parties agree the next session will be “1st Joint Mediation Session”.
When 2nd party attends information session and both clients wish to proceed with mediation, Courts mediation follows the same process as All Issue cases with exception of closing cases, where additional options of “1st party/2nd party did not proceed/did not attend” is available.
When clients reach agreement (written/non written), attach their mediated settlement document to their case on the data base. Update their case status, inputting details of how they are intending to proceed legally.