For many couples it is very hard to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to marital difficulties.
Oftentimes, when the marriage is in the breakdown stage, it is impossible for couples to communicate at any level. Many couples experience, amongst others, the following difficulties;-
- Shouting Matches, verbal aggression.
- Arguments concerning/involving the Children.
- Financial Problems.
- Disputes involving extended family members.
Mediation is a means of disarming these “emotional bombs”, before matters get worse.
Mediation allows couples to resolve their personal affairs in a marital breakdown situation with the least amount of acrimony possible. It also helps couples to cut back substantially on legal costs. There is a significant difference in going to court for a contested Divorce when compared against a separation negotiated through mediation. Mediation also assists couples in setting new boundaries after a separation.
At Family Mediation Ireland we use the co-mediation model. We operate with one male and female mediator in each mediation session to ensure gender balance. Four parties in the room creates a good group dynamic. The parties are charged separately, on an hourly basis for their attendance at mediation. This allows the couple complete control over their costs, unlike court proceedings.
Topics covered in mediation include amongst others;-
- Future Living Arrangements
- Division of Assets
- Education and schooling for the children
- Custody, Access and Guardianship.
- Communication Issues
- Christmas, Holidays and Birthdays.
- Pensions and future family income.
Mediation offers the parties a safe bubble within which to communicate. With mediators present the parties can communicate without the fear of negotiations descending into an abusive argument. Within this new environment parties gain confidence in their own abilities to resolve their own dispute.
Mediation can be used in a host of other types of dispute such as commercial, wills and probate, employment issues and debt agreement/resolution. It can be used by private individuals, state departments, companies, hospitals and schools to resolve internal and external disputes.
Mediation is also provided by the state funded Family Mediation Service. Family mediation services are also provided by private mediators throughout the country. To understand the mediation process better why not have a look at the youtube video that we have uploaded on this web site.
Some parties do not use mediation in a marital breakdown context. They use mediation to resolve various problems that they have experienced in their marriage. It is important to point out that mediation is not marriage counselling. Groups such as Accord provide marriage counselling services. However, for some couples where there is an unresolved dispute or an interim separation arrangement, mediation can provide a useful tool to facilitate agreement. It can also assist the couple with their own on-going communication skills.
The mediation process itself can be conducted with the parties in two separate rooms or jointly in one single room. These are called single and joint caucuses respectively. Ultimately, many mediators recommend that parties should try and progress to joint sessions at some stage in the dispute resolution process. This is not mandatory however. It first requires agreement from both sides if the parties wish to attend a joint session. At Family mediation Ireland we conduct single sessions with the parties before conducting any joint sessions.