Our Household Mediation Solutions

CountryWide Mediation was one of the very first household mediation services
to be set up in the nation and it is now among the foremost suppliers of family mediation in the Belfast.

We have an unrivalled depth of knowledge, ability and experience in resolving issues and solving conflict and disputes within families.

All members of our family mediation team are professionally certified (FMCA) through the Family Mediation Council.

We have our own devoted mediation properties in a peaceful yet central location, with 3 mediation rooms, separate waiting locations, a reception location with additional seating and a back office.

We are able to use very first conference/ MIAMs appointments (for individuals) within 24hours and visits for mediation conferences (for both parties), within 5 working days.

We offer both legally aided and privately funded mediation covering all Belfast.

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When you can’t concur, assist

Whether you have recently separated or your situations have actually changed, you may require some assistance to come to an agreement with your kid’s other parent about plans for your kids, monetary matters or residential or commercial property.

This page discusses the different options offered to help you work out and interact more effectively and solve any disputes. If there are reasons why it is not ideal to work out with your kid’s other parent, for instance if they are a danger to you or your child or you have actually suffered domestic violence, you ought to get legal recommendations.

Initial steps

Take a look at our factsheet Making arrangements for your children if you haven’t currently. It supplies some fundamental actions to help you have more reliable discussions about your children.

Taking care of yourself

If you have actually been through a hard separation or a mentally difficult or difficult time, taking actions to care for yourself and utilizing the aid that’s offered will help you make better choices.

It will also make it much easier for you to remain available to your kids and their emotional requirements, and guarantee they are supported.

The Gingerbread factsheet Taking care of your psychological health will provide you recommendations on how to get in much better shape to make those essential choices.

Do you need legal recommendations?

If you’re separating or have actually recently separated you will require to consider your financial resources, your house and any residential or commercial property you own or debts you have. You should learn your legal rights before you work out.

To find household law solicitors who take a non-confrontational approach contact Resolution, who can put you in touch with a local solicitor. Civil
Legal Advice can likewise refer you to a local lawyer and assess your privilege to legal help (see below). For more details on what legal recommendations
is offered see the Gingerbread factsheet
Getting Legal Aid.

Assisting you talk

Often it’s difficult to know where to start or how to make things better. A range of organisations can help, whether in person, over the phone, by means of e-mail or online. This type of support will help you to comprehend:

  • How you are feeling
  • Why communication can be so hard
  • Why it deserves trying to improve the method you communicate
  • What favorable steps you can require to alter the circumstance and make it easier for you both to talk with each other.

Some programmes are created to assist you get abilities that will help you negotiate in a calm and favorable way. A few of the services on offer are free while others will charge. Find out as much as possible about each kind of service so you can pick the one that finest fits you and your circumstance.


Mediation can help solve disagreements on useful concerns, with the assistance of a qualified professional. It’s a voluntary procedure, neither parent can be required to attempt mediation if they do not want to. It is not counselling or assistance– the focus is on making a contract that works rather than going over feelings.

Mediators can’t offer you legal advice, and it’s suggested to get legal suggestions before you utilize mediation, particularly if you need to decide monetary problems. If you get legal help for mediation, you may likewise get free legal guidance
during mediation.

Mediation can often be more affordable and quicker than negotiating through a solicitor or going to court. Working out a contract through mediation may likewise help reduce hostility, and allow you to concentrate on your relationship as parents. It’s important to take into consideration what your child desires and requires if you’re making plans for your child. A mediator will focus on making a child-centred arrangement, which need to be in the kid’s benefit.

What occurs in mediation?

You and your child’s other parent will talk about the issues you require to work out, and the conciliator will lead the discussion and help you focus. The mediator will help you and your child’s other moms and dad have your say, and it is the two of you who decide. You may be stressed that your child’s other moms and dad will control or take over, but the arbitrator will work to make certain you are both heard.

Who is mediation ideal for?

Mediation relies on two individuals wanting to solve their disagreement, although they have extremely various viewpoints at the start of the procedure.

Mediation is not appropriate in specific circumstances. Mediation may not be proper for you if you have actually been in a violent or abusive relationship with your kid’s other parent.

Mediation may not be possible due to useful concerns, such as not being able to go to because of where you live, or because of an impairment.

Is it legally binding?

The conciliator will draw up a written file for you if you are able to reach an arrangement with your kid’s other parent. You might want to get legal suggestions on whether it is reasonable to you, especially if it’s about finances.

The agreement offered by the mediator is not lawfully binding, but if you would like it to be, a court can make an agreement about financial resources into a ‘approval order’. The court will need to inspect the plan is reasonable prior to they give the order.

Just how much does it cost?

Mediation expenses will differ depending on the service you use. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for legal help financing, which suggests it would be free. For an evaluation to see if you receive legal aid contact Civil Legal Suggestions.

The charges are likely to be per session, so find out the costs from the mediation service prior to you start. Some services can charge you separately, but if this isn’t possible make certain you concur between you how the costs will be paid before you start.

The quantity of sessions you require will depend on the problems you need to fix, but in between 3 and five is the average.

How to find an arbitrator

You can look for a family conciliator at www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator. The search should provide you information of regional services that do legal help work, can give you general details about mediation, and details of a local non-profit making mediation service.

Utilizing a lawyer to work out

If negotiating with your kid’s other moms and dad directly and utilizing an arbitrator is not appropriate or has failed, you might ask a lawyer to negotiate for you.

There are likely to be costs involved, as you can’t get legal aid for household matters unless you have actually suffered domestic violence, or really rarely– your case is “remarkable”.

When you have actually gone over with the solicitor what your options are and what choice a court may make in your circumstances, you will need to provide clear guidelines on how you wish to proceed.

Collaborative law

Collaborative law involves agreeing that you will not go to court, and you will fix the dispute in between you and your lawyers. It typically implies conference with your kid’s other moms and dad and their lawyer in person and trying to reach a contract around the table.

You would both have your solicitor with you to make sure that a fair arrangement is reached and they will give suggestions during the conference. To find a collective law lawyer contact Resolution.

If you still can’t agree


Arbitration is an alternative to going to court. It is a formal, private and binding process for resolving household disputes, and can only be utilized for monetary matters; it can’t be utilized to solve disputes about arrangements for children. If you reach a contract through arbitration there won’t be any public court records, and you can select your arbitrator.

Arbitration resembles the court process. A qualified specialist will decide for you, in the same way a judge would. It can be quicker and more affordable than going to court. To find out more, get in touch with the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators.

Asking the court to choose

Applying to the court ought to be the last resort, when all other attempts to agree have actually failed or aren’t ideal. Court action can be prolonged and expensive, and moms and dads might not get the result they want.

Prior to you can obtain a court order, the majority of people will need to think about mediation, and show a form at the court to show that you have actually been to a conference to discuss the suitability of mediation. This is called a Mediation Details Assessment Satisfying. There are exemptions to attending a meeting, for example if you have suffered domestic violence.

For more details contact National Household Mediation or check out the Family Mediation Council website.

The court will motivate you to reach an agreement, however if you can’t it might be necessary for the court to provide an order.

Orders for kids

The following are the most common orders a court can provide in relation to conflicts over kids:

  • Parental duty order– an order granting a parent or carer the legal rights
  • and obligations of a parent– to find out more see the Gingerbread factsheet Adult duty.
  • Child arrangements order– sets out when a child sees and stays with a particular person, usually a moms and dad. These orders have actually replaced contact and house orders
  • Particular concern order– to choose a particular point of disagreement, such as where a child will go to school, or which faith they need to follow
  • Restricted steps order– stops a person doing something with or to a child, for instance to stop a parent taking a kid abroad, or from selecting a kid up from school.

How does a court decide about our kids?

When choosing whether to make an order, the court needs to consider whether it would be better for the welfare of the kid to make an order than not make an order. The court will not make an order unless it’s necessary. The welfare of the child must be the court’s leading priority when making decisions. This is referred to as ‘the well-being principle’.

There are certain things that a court considers when choosing what’s in a kid’s benefits. This is known as the ‘well-being list’. The court thinks about all the situations of the case and not just the list, however it’s the beginning point.

The checklist is:

  • The dreams and sensations of the child (in light of their age and understanding).
  • The kid’s physical, educational and emotional needs.
  • The most likely result on the child of any changes in scenarios.
  • The kid’s age, sex, background and any attributes which the court thinks about appropriate.
  • Any damage the kid has actually suffered or is at risk of suffering.
  • How capable each of the parents (or other relevant individual) is of meeting the child’s requirements.
  • The range of powers readily available to the court.

If you’re considering obtaining a court order, or your child’s other moms and dad has gotten a court order, you need to think about getting legal advice. If you can’t get aid with the expenses through legal aid, seeing a solicitor can be expensive.

If it’s not possible for you to see a solicitor, think about getting some help from an organisation that can give you some recommendations for free, such as Rights of Females or People Guidance.

For more information see the Gingerbread factsheet Getting Legal Aid.

If you’re making arrangements for your child, it’s important to take into factor to consider what your kid wants and needs. The mediator will help you and your child’s other moms and dad have your say, and it is the 2 of you who make the choices. When choosing whether to make an order, the court must consider whether it would be much better for the well-being of the child to make an order than not make an order. The well-being of the kid should be the court’s top concern when making choices. There are certain things that a court thinks about when deciding what’s in a kid’s best interests.

CountryWide Mediation Services & Important Links

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About Mediation in WikiPedia

Mediation is a “party-centered” procedure in that it is focused primarily upon the needs, civil liberties, and also interests of the parties. Arbitration, as used in law, is a kind of alternate dispute resolution resolving conflicts in between 2 or even more parties with concrete effects. Generally, a third celebration, the conciliator, aids the parties to negotiate a settlement.

Mediation is a “party-centered” process in that it is focused primarily upon the demands, civil liberties, and passions of the events. Arbitration, as utilized in law, is a form of different dispute resolution dealing with disputes in between two or even more celebrations with concrete results. Usually, a 3rd party, the mediator, helps the events to discuss a negotiation.

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