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If your relationship has broken down and you want to take steps to arrange for a separation it is very worthwhile considering family mediation as a way of doing this. Family mediation is a process of working out the practical details in a setting which will allow you both to achieve an agreement that allows each to have a say, but resolves disputes in a non-conflictual way.

The framework provides you with the opportunity to negotiate your own settlement on the assumption that the decision to separate and/or divorce has been made.You may decide to consult a solicitor at the beginning of the mediation process to ensure that you know your legal position, even though you will negotiate directly with your spouse in the mediation process.

You are free to consult with a solicitor at any time during the mediation process and should do so, so as to ascertain your legal rights and entitlements, and also if either of you are not clear what the legal implications of your choices are. In any case you will need to have a solicitor prepare legal documents based on the decisions reached in mediation, which will allow both of you to finalise matters between you.

Mediation and your children

If you have children their care will be an important focus in the mediation.The reality of one parent leaving the other is almost always a shock to children. Parents, who are going through the mill themselves, may not realise the extent to which children can feel hurt and be bewildered by the separation.

Children may have some sense that they are being considered if they know you trying to work something out in mediation that will allow you to both continue to see and care for them, even though you are living apart yourselves. Keeping the interests of the children to the forefront while you are trying to work on a parenting plan means that you both recognise and accept
that they have rights, which may at times diverge from those of either of their parents.

What People Say

You know the old saying "If you love what you do and have a real passion for it, you'll never again work a day in your life" This typifies Sharon who has that passion and really puts her clients first. I would highly recommend Sharon for this type of work!

— Dan O Donoghue

I.T. Tralee.

I have known Sharon for sometime now, she is a wonderful family mediator. Sharon has a particularly strong ability to acknowledge the importance of children who are caught in the middle of a conflict, she has a wonderful gentle approach and is able to support all members of a family during difficult times.

— Louisa Meehan

Woodview HRM.

Sharon is a talented mediator who has years of experience in working with families. She takes a solid, theory-based approach to her practice and understands the complexities that relationship breakdown brings with it. Her holistic approach emphasises the well-being of the whole family and guides all family members safely through a difficult period in their lives.

— Sabine Walsh

Course Director MA Conflict Management- St. Angela's College (NUIG) Sligo

Thanks for your help so far through all of this, it did really help my ex-wife and myself through these difficult and complicated moments lifting some of the burdens of the practical side of these things while also making us focussing better on the kids.

At the weekend we will tell them, and during the weekend I will move out. I hope everything will go as well as can be reasonably expected but I’m sure our effort (and your help) will be a good starting point.

Sharon helped us feel relaxed and comfortable and made us consider other options. Thanks and good luck with your career. 
I would like to say thank you so much for your help in this really difficult time, It really helped us come up with a fair and workable plan for the future. 
I just hope telling the kids goes as well as it can and we'll go from there