In life, conflict is normal and inevitable. Usually people deal with conflict by talking, listening and collaborating. However sometimes we get stuck and need help in opening the lines of communication. Mediation is a form of dispute resolution; a process in which a trained mediator assists two or more disputing parties in resolving a conflict.
The process is voluntary, confidential, and impartial, and aims to ensure that the participants reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. Following a meeting where the mediator talks to the parties separately, a follow-up joint meeting is arranged. During the meeting all parties get the opportunity to tell their story. A written agreement acceptable to all sides is drawn up and the parties agree to abide by the terms of the agreement.
The process is quick and it's free, impartial and confidential. Trained mediators do not take sides and it is a win/win agreement for all those involved. It is also much less stressful than going to court.
Family mediation is a service for married and non-married couples and families. The process consists of a series of meetings, usually six, with the separating couple and a mediator. It is a confidential process where you both discuss and work out issues such as parenting the children, finances and the family home.
The aim of mediation is to help you to find a solution that meets the needs of all of you, especially those of your children, and that you both feel is fair. The mediator works with you in a safe and confidential environment to help you find solutions and agreements that will help you both to have an agreement to form the basis of a separation and/or divorce.
At the end of the mediation, an agreement is agreed between both people. This is not a legally binding document and you will need to seek the advice of your solicitor before moving to a legal separation or divorce.
Mediation can help in lots of situations in your family and in your community. It can help you to resolve problems for example with:
conflict between neighbours,
noise complaints, housing disputes,
workplace disputes, or
conflict within families.
Peer mediation is an internationally recognised programme of conflict resolution aimed at children aged 11 & 12, who are usually in 5th and 6th class.
Ballymun Community Law Centre has been working successfully over the last ten years with six of the eight primary schools in Ballymun on a peer mediation programme. The goal of peer mediation is to reduce conflict and to provide children with problem-solving techniques which they can use themselves. Peer mediation is successful because is empowers students, which in turn motivates them to behave more responsibly.
The Centre is also working with Trinity Comprehensive on a peer mediation programme specifically designed for secondary schools to build on the capacity of their first year students who participated in this training in primary school. We have also introduced the mediation training to the transition year classes.