Amy and John got married ten years ago in Dublin. They have two children, a son and daughter aged ten and twelve. John works in the building industry and Amy is a manager in a large IT company. They each have a car and following the unreconcilable breakdown of their marriage four years ago, they remained living in the same home. They have separate bank accounts and share the household bills and general expenses. As co-parents, they have a good relationship with each other and their children. In 2022, they decided to get a Divorce.
Amy and John talked about their options and agreed to research how Divorce works in Ireland. John contacted a local Solicitor who quoted him a significant hourly fee and was unable to state what the end cost would be. Amy also contated a Solicitor and spoke to friends who conveyed their experiences with costly legal fees. While researching the Divorce process online, Amy came across Divorce.ie.
After completing a short questionnaire, Amy logged in to Divorce.ie and scheduled a telephone call with one of the Case Managers (Step 1), which she arranged for the following Monday afternoon. This was an informal welcome conversation, where Amy asked numerous questions about how the process worked. They both agreed that Amy and John would be perfect candidates for this program. Amy asked how long the proess would take and the Case Manager was able to give an expected timeframe for each aspect of the process.
As Amy and John were still living together with the children in the family home, Amy explained to the Case Manager that they were both unsure how they were going to agree upon everything, including decisions affecting their children, their home and finances. The Case Manager was able to relieve some of Amy's anxiety by explaining how the experienced Mediators were experts at working with families in similar situations. The Case Manager also explained how Mediated Agreements in Divorce cases are proven to lead to a better relationship between parents going forward.
Following her telephone conversation, Amy mentioned the service to her husband John. John then logged on to Divorce.ie and created his own account (Step 2). He also scheduled a telephone call with their Case Manager to see if the program would be suitable for him.
After talking to each other and seeking advice from some friends, Amy and John both decided that they wanted to proceed. Each spouse agreed to the terms (Step 3) online and made an initial payment (Step 4) after which an Family Mediator was appointed to their case. The Mediator called each spouse individually to arrange their Mediation sessions schedule. All agreed that Friday afternoons for the next month, from 2pm to 3pm would work, and that sessions would be completed by video conference. They were also informed that they could meet at the Mediators offices, if they agreed that would be better.
That Friday, both spouses logged on to the video call and were welcomed by their Mediator (due to COVID-19 restrictions, video conferencing calls may be required). Each spouse had spoken to the Mediator prior to the first session where the Mediator explained what Mediation was and how it was confidential. The Mediator further outlined the structure of the sessions and how the Mediator was there to help both of them to reach the best agreement possible.
The initial session was, as is typical, an introductory session, where the spouses shared their experiences and outlined their worries about the implications and consequences of Divorce. An open conversation followed and each spouse was allowed to speak their mind in a constructive manner. All matters which must be determined during the Divorce were outlined. The Mediator also spoke to each spouse in private to assess any issues that may exist that could not be discussed in front of the other spouse. At the end of the first session the Mediator asked each spouse to download and complete the Budget Sheet and/or Pension Sheet from the Divore.ie document library (Step 5) for the next session and explained what additional documents would be helpful to each spouse when financial matters were considered at the next Mediation appointment.
The following week, Amy and John had completed the Budget Sheet which asked each of them to write down exactly what their living expenses were expected to be in the future. This allowed each spouse to look at the level of income they would need when living apart in the future. As they had always lived together, both were unsure how they could afford to live separately on their incomes. The Mediation began with John suggesting that he could move to a rented home if they they sold some shares they had invested. This would pay off both car loans and credit cards, which would free up almost €900 per month. They both agreed this was a good idea and the Mediator took note of this compromise.
Once the financial aspects were provisionally agreed, Amy and John discussed matters concerning the parenting of their two children. John felt that it was in the children's best interest that they should remain primarily in the family home. He was also eager to continue to spend a lot of time with them including sleepovers at his new home. Amy and John agreed that the children would spend every other weekend at John's new home, from Thursday to Monday. John would collect the children from school on Thursday, bring them to school on Friday, spend the weekend with them and take them to school on Monday morning. This allowed John to remain an active parent in his children's lives and this was something that both parents felt was very important. Amy agreed that this was a good solution as it allowed both parents significant time with both children and reduced the amount of time that both parents would have to meet each other, thus reducing potential conflict. They also agreed that for the next three years, both parents would spend the majority of Christmas day together with their children, including Christmas dinner.
In the concluding sessions, both Amy and John came to an agreement on the remaining issues incuding succession rights, pension rights, school expenses, Easter, mid-term and summer holiday arrangements. After finalising all matters the Mediator drafted the Mediated Agreement to both spouses satisfaction.
The Mediator then uploaded the Mediated Agreement to Divorce.ie so both Amy and John could access and download it (Step 6). The Divorce.ie Case Manager then contacted each spouse to review their Mediation experience and to explain how the next stage of the process would work.
Amy and John each paid their second payment due and Divorce.ie appointed each spouse an Independent Family Law Solicitor (Step 7) to represent each spouse and consult with them on the legal implications of Divorce and the consequences of finalising a Divorce in Ireland. A copy of the Mediated Agreement was furnished to each Solicitor prior to their initial consultation. Amy and John were then contacted by their respective Solicitors to make appointments for their legal consultation. All parties were satisfied that the agreement reached was sensible and fair and the Solicitors made applications to the Court for a Divorce.
A Court date was set and both spouses arrived to the Court to meet with their Solicitors on the day. When their case was called, their Solicitors spoke to the Judge, outlining the specifics of the Divorce, and the Judge approved it.
Amy and John's Divorce was complete when the Judge issued their Decree of Divorce (Step 8).
Above is a sample case study showing the Divorce.ie program and its practical implications. The people in it are not real. Its purpose is to show the complete Divorce.ie process, and how it could help you. Please note that each individual Divorce is different and the Divorce.ie program caters for the specific needs and circumstances of each spouse.