Dr Róisín O’Shea, Partner in Arc Mediation and Chair of the Irish Professional Mediators’ Organisation welcomes the publishing of the Report by the Minister today. Dr O’Shea was a member of the Child Maintenance Group who examined ways in which parents and their children could be better served by diverting child maintenance disputes away from the Courts.
“The recommendation of the majority of our Group, which I fully support, is that a body should be established by the State to deal with Child Maintenance. As a mediator I support self-determination as the optimal approach, which is in the best interests of families and their children.
I believe that we should implement a Child Maintenance model, which supports parents working out their own agreement and includes a clear mathematical formula with in-built flexibility to determine, or assist in the calculation of, the appropriate amount of child maintenance.
This will empower families to self-determine and divert cases away from the courts. Such a model would mean that the parents would first try to agree child maintenance between themselves or with the assistance of a mediator, and with reference to the formula. Where they could not reach agreement, the Child Maintenance Agency can make a determination.”