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Cross-border family mediation - Northern Ireland

Family mediation procedure

Family mediation is an entirely voluntary process and there is currently no requirement in Northern Ireland to consider resolving a dispute through mediation before making an application to the court. However the courts are supportive and will encourage its use in appropriate cases. Although the process to be applied is not specified statutorily, the courts are likely to permit an adjournment in cases where it appears issues could be resolved through mediation. Parties can also apply to the court to have a mediated agreement made enforceable as if it were an order of the court.

Public funding is available in some cases. The Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland has met the cost of some mediation from legal aid funds and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety currently provides funding for pre-court mediation in family disputes. Further information can be obtained from the website of Link opens in new windowFamily Support Northern Ireland.

Family mediation profession

Training and accreditation is not regulated by government. The profession is self-regulating and qualification and experience requirements vary across affiliate professional organisations. Further information can be obtained from provider websites and the information booklet Alternatives to Court in Northern Ireland available on the Link opens in new windowNI Direct website.


The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective EJN contact point. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. Neither the EJN nor the European Commission accept responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.

Last update: 16/05/2018