Mediation is a great option for people dealing with family law issues especially during Covid 19. The role of mediation is to empower people to reach a resolution themselves. A neutral third party, known as the mediator, facilitates a separating or separated couple to have a conversation, to come up with a solution that best suits their particular need. If Covid 19 has created a problem regarding access or maintenance, parties can use mediation to help come up with a way to deal with the problem. The beauty of mediation is that it can offer more creative ways of dealing with a problem that the formal Court process.

It can be difficult for people to access the Courts especially during Level 5 and their case may not be deemed as urgent. If people cannot resolve the issue themselves, mediation is an excellent vehicle for dispute resolution. The Family Mediation Service is still operating during Covid 19. However, there is a long waiting list to avail of this service. Private mediators are operating and many of these are happening online. Online meditations are proving to be an excellent resource for people and families in conflict.

I would always encourage clients to try mediation. I am a certified mediator and specialised family law mediator. Access to mediation can depend on where you live. There is a shortage of family law mediators in the West and Northwest, but I work with clients remotely using video calls allowing me to support families across the region. It means that issues that are time sensitive can be dealt with far quicker than waiting for the Courts to resume. Mediation can significantly reduce the amount of money spent on legal fees. Matters can be sorted without having to go to Court. With all the worries and stress that Covid 19 has created, having a facility like mediation available for families in conflict is vital in reaching resolutions in a timely manner.

If you have any questions on the issues raised in this article or about Access and Maintenance or Access to Courts, please contact Mary McMorland at mmcmorland@callantansey.ie.

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