frequently asked questions about mediation

Frequently Asked Questions about the Mediator

What is the cost of using a mediator?

Our mediator will charge on a per hour basis and don’t charge any retainer (like some service providers). The fee does depend on the complexity of the case. Please contact us for an accurate quote.

Is there a lengthy waiting list?

No. We aim to meet clients as soon as possible once contacted in order to resolve matters as soon as practicable.

Is the agreement binding?

The new mediation act came into force in 2018. Now a mediated agreement is a legal contract. However, if parties wish they can have a clause in their final agreement stating it is not a legal agreement.

How long does mediation take?

Mediation usually takes a number of hours to resolve any situation. Usually, we meet for two hours at a time as at the first meeting the mediator needs to introduce themselves, explain the process and answer any questions. Also, it is beneficial to have an agenda by the end of the first meeting. The recommended amount of time needed if parties request a meeting each week is around 3 meetings of that duration.

Please feel free to take a break during the meeting as we will move at a pace that suits you.
However, each case is different; some are faster and others longer. Please note the mediator will go as fast as parties are willing or able to move.

Is Mediation only for people who want to split up?

No. Mediation can be used for reconciliation. Usually, when parties aren’t sure what they want to do we can explore ways to try and see if reconciliation is a possibility and if this doesn’t work out usually parties can see this for themselves and then use mediation to try to get a mediated agreement for separation.

Is mediation going to work?

Having worked as a solicitor in the courts in Ireland* one of the reasons I became a mediator and operate as one full time is because it does work. The reason it works is that parties decide on the outcome themselves with the help of the mediator.

There will be no one imposing a decision on any party or force them to decide on something they are not entirely happy with.

Do you offer a local service?

Yes, all of our mediators will meet you in your local area and can arrange for suitable locations for meetings.

What if I want my Solicitor to advise me?

Parties are welcome to get any advice they feel necessary during the process and can ask their solicitor to look over any document before signing if they wish.

What happens at the mediation session?

The mediator will explain the process so that each party understands clearly what will happen. Each party will have an opportunity to be heard and say how they see matters from their point of view.

Once each party has done this the mediator will outline an agenda for discussion which will contain each aspect of the issues raised by the parties. At that point there will be a discussion and the mediator will use various principles of mediation to help the parties explore options going forward.

As soon as these options are agreed upon the mediator will draw up a final agreement that is binding between the parties.

If mediation doesn’t work out can I go to court?

Yes, parties can still go to court if the mediation does not work out and do not lose their right to go and apply to the courts.

I am nervous about sitting down with my ex partner? Can we meet the mediator separately?

Yes you can if you so wish. It might help if you met with the mediator first on your own to discuss your point of view and familiarise yourself with the process and indeed the mediator.

The mediator is used to dealing with people like you and in this situation and will control the situation. The mediator will help to create a safe environment to express yourself, be heard and as a result hopefully, resolve matters. You can also take breaks as often as you like as it is informal.

What if parties feel controlled by the other person in the past will this change at mediation?

Yes, each party is equal at mediation. The mediator controls the process  and listens in order that each party has an opportunity to say their concerns. Each party will decide what happens at mediation.

No single party can dictate or control what happens at mediation. One of the principles of mediation is empowerment and the mediator will use their skills to help you find and make the best decision for you in your circumstances.

* Though not currently practising as a solicitor Mary Claire is still a member of the Law Society of Ireland. Therefore, she does not give legal advice. However, parties can draw on her years of experience in working as a solicitor and indeed mediator.

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