Should I use Mediation or Court system (Hire a Solicitor)?

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Why not get a legally binding mediated agreement for separation or divorce? Or indeed for any civil dispute such as workplace or commercial matters? Firstly in deciding whether to use mediation or court you need to make an informed decision.

So mediation is a voluntary process whereby a trained mediator helps parties resolve their dispute. It is suitable for family situations, commercial, workplace, community issues such as boundary disputes etc. Mediation is appropriate for nearly all civil disputes. In addition, upon request we can contact the other party to request their attendance at mediation . Meetings can take place together or separately.

Following on from the above, how do you decide if mediation might work rather than court? 

Mediation                                                Court Route

Time Involved Average time: 1 to 3 months (depends on needs of parties) Average time: 2 years (depends on court schedule for instance)
Tone of process Business-like but informal Formal, adversarial
Role of the law Our mediators are non practising solicitors no legal advice given but benefit from experience Legal information and legal advice given by solicitor or barrister
Impact on children Children’s interests are central to decision making; if parties so wish they can attend Children often have divided loyalties  in the battle between spouses and can feel divided loyalties
Emotional cost to parties Each party has an opportunity to be listened toMore comfortable, cooperative Increases anxiety and stress. Little opportunity to address concerns. Possibility wont be able to voice certain issues or concernsStressful, adversarial
Impact on communication Can help improve communication.Some parties even feel that mediation can heal relationships a little bit By it’s nature does not promote communication.Can cause  future disagreements and possible court appearances as parties never learn to resolve matters themselves
Decision Making Clients make their own decisions based around their own needs. No one will know this better than the parties themselves. Other people who are strangers such as a judge, social worker  make decisions and you fit into a template that they may have as they dont know your specific needs.
Confidentiality Discussions and financial information are confidentialOften no court appearances as agreement is reached and it is binding between the parties. Court hearings can be slow and emotionally draining. Non family issues can be public. As a result, several court appearances

Why use mediation instead of Solicitors?

Furthermore, Judges are asking parties to go to mediation to see if it will resolve their dispute before hearing a court case. Pat Kenny the broadcaster is one such case. The judge asked the parties to go to mediation and once the parties sat down with a mediator the case was resolved in a short period of time.

A study carried out by the EU found for example that it takes on average 515 days from when a law suit is filed in Ireland until the enforcement of the judgement. Therefore, in other words mediation is fast becoming the preferred option for dispute resolution.

Moreover, mediation helps you avoid paying high costs to solicitors. As our mediators are fully trained solicitors ( though not practising so wont give legal advice) turned full time mediators they can help you get the necessary resolution without spending too much money on solicitors.

Our Mediators can help you obtain a legally binding agreement between both parties without a solicitor. Most importantly, you can of course get legal advice from your solicitor prior to signing any agreement. Subsequently, a solicitor can be given the agreement and after that bring it to court on your behalf in order to have it fully enforced. However, they will give you further information and information to clarify same.

If I use mediation does that prevent me from going to court in the future? 

No it does not. After mediation is complete if unsuccessful, you can go to court. However, we do have a very high success rate. To clarify, above all you retain the right to attend the court.

Finally, if matters aren’t worked out at mediation you can still go to court and you have nothing to lose by trying it out first.

Call us today to see if we can help you on : 087 98 32 112

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The information on this website is not legal advice.

While Mary Claire is a solicitor she is not practising as she is a full time mediator . However, she does have invaluable experience from representing clients for a number of years in court. Further,  you can draw on her experience both as a mediator and solicitor at our meetings.

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