General Legal Advice on Collaborative Law & Mediation:
The mediation process encourages a separating couple to work out mutually acceptable arrangements on parenting the children, financial support, the family home, other property and matters relating to separation. It is the mediator’s role to guide the couple towards a solution on each issue in an unbiased manner. It is recommended that each person consult with his or her own solicitor throughout the mediation process.
The ultimate aim is to avoid the use of Court in family law cases. If either party chooses or decides to proceed to Court then the collaborative process ends. Each party must retain his or her own trained collaborative lawyer to advise and assist in negotiating an agreement on all issues. At the outset, the clients and the solicitors sign a binding agreement called a “participation agreement” where they agree at an early stage to make full and voluntary disclosure of all documents and information that relate to the issues.
The process depends on the cooperation of all of the participants and the full and frank disclosure of information. This is a new process which is at an early stage of development in the Irish jurisdiction however, if you are interested in pursuing collaborative law as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism please discuss the matter further with Jennifer O’Brien. Jennifer O’Brien is a fully trained collaborative lawyer and a member of the Association of Collaborative Practitioners. (See www.acp.ie for further information).