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Settlement talks

  • 19-05-2022 10:38pm
    Registered Users Posts: 27

    Going through divorce. Solicitors involved. Both parents work. Dad full time. Mum part time. Mortgage on house. 1 child age 9 years.

    Can someone advise me please on what to expect with settlement talks. What are the obvious and un obvious things to look forward.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Two Hill

    The solicitors may well not wish to settle as they do better out of the journey continuing - be sure your in same room as the discussions so as you can hear what actually gets said and offered....... Go in with a reasonable 50/50 offer and don't budge from sure all understand that money spent on legal fees is money not available for kids..... So whatever legal fees will cost ye per month.... Is your opening offer on maintenance perhaps.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 Hello2021

    Thanks for reply. I have legal aid & he is paying for his solicitor. Can I ask what you mean by 50 / 50 offer. He is working a full time job with option of overtime and has a pension. I work part time, no option of overtime ( due to childcare problems) & have no pension. There is a possibility as well I may have to reduce my hours due to child care.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,732 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    Hi Op

    When you (as a couple) separated you increased the costs involved as 2 households cost more than 1. Neither of you can expect to be able to live the same lifestyle.

    I mention this because if say one partner expected the use of the house, until child was 18 or finished college etc, and expected the partner to pay all or 1/2 of the mortgage and then manage to pay 100 % of their own rent/mortgage too, plus maintenance, plus childcare costs, plus other costs this could become a rather unfair burden.

    50/50 custody would mean you were free to work when he has the baby with no childcare costs for that portion of the week. He would also be feeding and clothing his share to. Again expenses shared means you don't have to fund 100% of them and seek redress. perhaps he cannot or will not agree to such an arrangement. However it would be a good starting point.

    But in your post it seems to me you are suggesting he can & should work overtime so you can reduce your hours? At least that appears to be the implication. That's not really an equitable starting point. Child care is ridiculously expensive. If you have shared custody and can work flexibly around that- surely that would work out better for your child?

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 Hello2021

    Thank you for your reply. I am not saying he should work over time so I can reduce my hours , I am stating he has the opportunity to work over time if he chooses to, I on the other hand don't have that option. At the moment he only sees our child when I am at work outside of these hours she is with me . We will have joint custody but from my experience in the last year he is not too interested in spending time with his daughter. Even when I have gone to work he has dropped her off at his family to mind her. Furthermore he has moved into his original family home which will be his inheritance. I do not have inheritance coming to me.

    My question is what is discussed in settlement talks, I would like to hear from someone who has been through it and can offer advice from their experience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Two Hill

    Settlement talks will be an opener to arrange a discussion on issues and proposed settlements........ I been through it and found that an impass was reached very quickly and next steps were judicial separation.... If you have a real desire to settle, I think you need to offer something that is fair and equally reasonable to your partner...... Think if you were him could you sign up to it?....... The problem is if one party wants more than half share...... Then it won't get agreed..... Other problem is that parties don't often know what they want......if it gives to court it very much be a fair arrangement with proper provision for everyone...... Try figure that out now and offer it or similar at settlement meeting..... Other advice I would give you is drive your solicitor to agree something.... If ye don't he may sit back and wait for the next phase particularly if he on legal aid.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19 Two Hill

    The bonus of agreeing to something now is the time you save, money in legal fees (trust me if it costing your partner in legal fees it also costing you and your child) and more importantly stress to everyone - these things can drag on for years.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    All of these things will be discussed but one thing I wanted to say to you...

    Access is not just for your child's other parent but also their extended family. Often access is the only opportunity for the other side of your child's family to see them.

    In this case, you take issue with your child's father dropping his child to his family during access - without knowing his reason why he does this (is it so he can go to work?) it doesn't usually go down too well when one parent tries to impose their conditions on the other (where they can go, what they can do, who they can see, or take their child to see) while the child is in their care.

    Put the shoe on the other foot and imagine if he was trying to impose his conditions on what you could and could not do when the child is with you?

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 Hello2021

    Hi Loueze,

    Thanks for your reply. The only time he currently sees his child is when I am at work, outside of her being at school or me at work she is with me. I am on good terms with my in laws so they see her often when she is with me. If he drops her off with one of them he is doing 1 of his many hobbies, going on dates, has gone out for the night and not returned, gone on holidays (without taking her ).These are just a few examples. Please don't make assumptions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27 Hello2021

    Thanks Two Hill,

    Thats a very valid point about the cost of his legal fees effecting his finances going forward. Unfortunately settlement talks haven't started as he has false financial information on his affidavits and is refusing to provide standard paperwork. I have provided all my paperwork.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I didn't make any assumptions. I asked a question (was it because he was working?).

    If he wants to arrange a babysitter for any reason while his child is in his care, he can - the same way you can when your child is with you. You no longer get a say in how he arranges his life.

    Good luck with your settlement talks.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Is "settlement talks" mediation, or is it something different? In mediation I was told that, first, I could not take my children away for two weeks of holidays this summer, despite my soon-to-be-ex taking them away from me for two weeks.

    I was then told I could take them for a week, but only to the place, and with the people, she had specified. Under no circumstances was I permitted to bring them to any place she had not consented to. Is this normal? I hadn't attempted to tell her what she could do on her holidays with the children, even though they have never been that long away from me in their lives and were really upset I wasn't coming - for which I was blamed, "Daddy has to work", needless to say. No, in reality Daddy wants to spend all that time with his children, but he cannot tell them that when they get angry at him for [allegedly] choosing work over them.

    When I asked 'Why' I couldn't go on holidays with my own children, she said I couldn't be trusted with my own children. I remained calm, said that this is totally untrue and she knows it. I left the meeting very shook up. Alarm bells started ringing, and they haven't stopped. The rubicon has been crossed, and I'm not sure how to remain calm, keep the eye on the prize of avoiding the expense and delay of a court, and also seek some legal intervention to ensure that she cannot take away my character like this. I can only hope the mediator, who is also female, can see this for the example of the controlling behaviour which has been going on for years.

    It seems this sort of false allegation against fathers is not uncommon:

  • Registered Users Posts: 340 ✭✭Senature

    It's quite simple really if you take the headwreck out of the equation.

    Whatever freedom she wants to have to bring the kids on holidays herself automatically applies to you too. Just don't even entertain or argue about any other scenario.

    It makes no sense anyway. If you really can't be trusted with your kids, then one week to a pre agreed destination makes no difference.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    When you need to keep your cool, all you have to remind yourself is that a mediator is not a judge and nothing that is discussed in mediation is binding unless BOTH parties agree to it.

    So if your ex refuses to consent to you taking the children away for a two week holiday, just say that's fine, we can put a pin in that, and we can seek the direction of the court on it if we can't come to an agreement here.

    It will be difficult for her to explain to a Judge why she will consent to one week, but not two, if there is any truth to her allegation that you can't be trusted. Its illogical - if you "can't be trusted", you can't be trusted for any length of time. (She can't tell you where to take them, but she can ask, and you should tell her. I'm sure you understand any parent wanting to know where their children are.)

    You can seek the direction of the court on any matter, at any time, for decisions like these, and you don't need a solicitor. District Court Form: 58.17.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭Gant21

    How can he be affording a two week holiday?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    "A mediated “agreement” of understanding is not a legal agreement until it is formalised by a Deed of Separation or Court Order." (Source:

    My first question is: If you've agreed a number of issues in mediation and there remains some outstanding, when the judge is formalising the mediated agreement with a Deed of Separation or Court Order (what's the difference?), can the judge make a ruling on those outstanding issues? Or would we have to join another long queue to have those settled?

    My second question is: If, say, a mediated agreement is reached by the end of July, how long would it take before the Deed of Separation is finalised by a judge? (apparently the entire public courts' system in this banana republic and its irreformable legal system which is designed to suit the interests of the legal industry rather than the public closes down in Dublin from 29 July until 3 October, regardless of all the citizens who need legal intervention asap:

    My third question: If it transpires that the whole mediation process was a delaying tactic by one side and mediation consequently fails outright, how long does it take to get the case before a judge? And, very importantly, what options does one have in the event that things have become really bad in the home during all this waiting for a court date? (moving out is a non-runner due to its implications for one's parenting rights and rights to the family home)

    Lastly, 'Deed of Separation or Decree of Judicial Separation/Divorce'. What is the difference between the Deed and the Decree of Judicial Separation? I have been told that if the wait is going to be very long for a Judicial Separation, I would save money by just waiting a bit longer/2 years and getting the full divorce as I'd be essentially charged the same amount of money twice as Judicial Separation and Divorce costs are similar/the same (?). Why on earth should we have to wait two years before we can get a divorce in this republic? Who put that paternalistic authoritarianism into our laws? It's not like people get divorced for the craic in an impulsive decision.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    @[Deleted User]

    My first question is: If you've agreed a number of issues in mediation and there remains some outstanding, when the judge is formalising the mediated agreement with a Deed of Separation or Court Order (what's the difference?), can the judge make a ruling on those outstanding issues? Or would we have to join another long queue to have those settled?

    I'm not a legal professional but as far as I know, they can make a ruling on any outstanding issues once the correct paperwork has been submitted, and the other party given the correct advance notice that these undecided matters will also be part of the hearing. I do know its imperative that you get the correct summonses issued, and when making the application that you specifically request these issues be addressed on the same date - otherwise they will just give you a new date.

    The clerk of the court office will help issue the necessary paperwork if you are representing yourself.

    I'm sorry, I don't know the answers to your other questions.