Who we are
Where data is collected, processed and stored by Divorce Nicely, we are what is known as the ‘data controller’ of the personal information you provide to us.
Catherine O’Mahoney is registered with the Information Commissioner (Reg. Z3172116).
For any questions with regards to this policy or the way that we manage your data please contact our Office Manager on our main telephone number, or our contact form, details of which can be found on our website.
Divorce Nicely is a mediation organisation providing mediation and other services in the field of dispute resolution and is committed to protecting the privacy of all the personal information or data provided by those who use our services.
This policy explains how we collect, use and store the personal information provided to us.
What personal data we collect and why we collect it
In order to help you in mediation, we need to ask and keep information about you. The General Data Protection Regulations requires your consent to lawfully do this, along with any contractual arrangement you may also have with us. Data is retained on a Legitimate Interest basis.
All the information you give us, including your personal data and any financial information disclosed in mediation, will be held securely, and will only be accessible by authorised Divorce Nicely personnel, support services, Industry professional organisations, or other professionals involved in the mediation process with your explicit consent. The exceptions to this are:
- if a significant concern is raised that someone, especially a child, is at risk of harm we have a duty to contact the appropriate authorities, with or without your permission, to enable us to comply with our safeguarding responsibilities.
- If there is an emergency and we believe that you, or others, may be at risk
- If a disclosure is made that you have benefitted or are likely to benefit from the proceeds of crime, we may be required to pass this information to government authorities.
- Where the information is disclosed to comply with the law or is permitted by law, e.g. for the prevention of financial crime and terrorism
- Where the information is ordered by the Courts.
- Where our professional quality assurance standards require a mediators’ files to be inspected by an external mediator in their capacity as a professional practice consultant. A professional practice consultant may view files, including mediation summaries, and this is on a strictly controlled, confidential basis.
- During Joint Mediation, if we are authorised to disclose personal details to a third party, we will only do this with the consent of both participants.
- If the Family Mediation Standards Board receives a complaint about one of our mediators, we may release information to help resolve it.
Where we do need to share your information with third parties, we do so on the basis that they comply strictly and confidentially with our instructions and that they do not use your personal information for their own purposes (unless you have specifically consented to them doing so).
Occasionally, some uses of personal data may require your specific consent. If this is the case we will contact you separately to ask for your consent that you are free to withdraw at any time.
What we need and why
Any information that we ask you to provide will be dependent on what you have asked, or instructed, us to do on your behalf.
Under the UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) there are two types of personal data (personal information) that you may provide to us:
- Personal data: is the general information that you supply about yourself – such as your name, address, gender, date of birth & contact details.
- Sensitive personal data: is, by its nature, more sensitive information. It may include personal and financial details relevant to your matter.
The nature of the services that we provide regularly require us to hold and use sensitive personal data in assisting you with your matter. We ask for your specific permission to do so in our mediation agreement and within the client questionnaire (either in hard copy or the online version).
Sources of information
We may obtain information about you and other participants related to your case from a range of sources. These would include:
- Information provided by you (or by a named representative authorised by you) during phone conversations, emails and other correspondence
- Forms on our websites
- Information provided by third parties to allow us to undertake mediation work on your behalf, such as:
- Experts and independent financial advisors
- Referrals from third parties on your behalf
- Correspondence with you
- Occasionally Medical or financial institutions
Why we need your data
The main reason for us asking you to provide us with your personal data is so that we can deliver our services to you in accordance with your mediation instructions and our regulatory duties. We will keep basic personal data about you such as name, address, email etc. in order to contact you. We will also ask you to tell us any other relevant details about yourself or your relationship that will assist us in helping you use mediation as a way of resolving outstanding issues; or in the mediator providing you with information to make informed choices about your future. As with all information you provide to us, we will only use it in so far as is necessary in providing our services to you and it will remain confidential.
We process information to support the provision of our mediation services to you; staff training; and our business development. We do not process information for any further business, or any other reason.
We will not sell or rent your information to third parties. Nor will we share your information with third parties for marketing purposes. However, as communication via the internet can never be entirely secure, we cannot guarantee complete security and all information is provided at the provider’s risk.
Examples of what we use your information for include:
- Verifying your identity
- Communicating with you
- Delivering our contractual services to you, including preparing documents
- Keeping our accounts and records
- Obtaining advice from third parties including both legal and non-legal experts
- Improving our services
- Compliance with the law and regulatory bodies
- Responding to any complaint or allegation of negligence
- Information may be provided to our service providers who perform services on our behalf, e.g.:
- Hosting providers for the secure storage and transmission of your data.
- IT suppliers assisting in the development of our websites.
This list is not exhaustive and is intended to be indicative only.
Consent and lawful processing of data
We collect and process data in line with our legitimate interests, which include processing personal data for the purposes of:
- providing a service under a contract;
- enhancing the provision of our services; and
- administration and service delivery.
How do we protect your personal data
We appreciate how important your personal information is and it is critical to us that your data is protected while in our care.
We closely manage our IT and operational security to protect personally identifiable data from loss, misuse, alteration or unplanned destruction. We use a range of IT security solutions to support this including off site backups, data encryption, log in protection and anti malware or phishing software.
We manage as far as possible physical access to our offices and ensure hard copy files are kept in secure areas of the office. We take our obligations seriously and staff are trained and aware of their confidentiality and data protection responsibilities. Both internal and external parties that we work with have agreed to confidentiality of all information.
How long will we keep your data for
Personal information can be held both in computer and manual files. It will be retained only for as long as is necessary, or as required by law, or as will be set out in any relevant contract with you.
We may hold personal data for differing lengths of time depending on the reason for doing so. For example:
- As long as is necessary to deliver our services to you and to avoid potential conflicts of interest in the future.
- Typically mediation files for a minimum of one year from the conclusion of your mediation work and MIAM files for 4 months from the date of the MIAM unless mediation commences, in which case they will be retained for up to one year from the date of your last mediation session.
Our files are then securely deleted or confidentially shredded.
We may from time to time contact you for the purposes of marketing and updating you on latest developments.
This means that we may use your personal data to send you updates about legal or mediation developments that might be of interest and relevant to you, or to invite you to events that we may run.
The direct marketing channels that we use include social media channels, email or post. We will never send marketing communications via SMS or call you without your specific consent; nor do we ever pass on or sell your details to a third party for marketing purposes.
We may collect your personal information for marketing in a number of ways, including:
- At the end of your matter we will ask if you would like to receive such communications and updates
- Sign-up to receive our Divorce Nicely newsletter
- Submitting an enquiry via our website
- Following our social media channels
- Responses to surveys from time to time
When we do collect data you will be provided with the opportunity to “opt in” to receiving marketing data from us. You also have the right to opt out of this at any time by simply using the unsubscribe link on emails, contacting our Office Manager or telling the mediator you are dealing with at the time.
We hope you will provide this information and that you find our communications useful, but if you choose not to, this will have no effect on accessing our mediation services.
Please note that once unsubscribed, you may still receive communication emails from us regarding your mediation matter.
How we may use your details for legitimate business interests
Under GDPR we have the right to use your personal data for necessary and legitimate business interests. This might include:
- Anti money laundering and fraud prevention
- Prevention of conflicts of interest
- The furtherance of your matter
- Direct marketing and updates
- Managing IT security
- Data analysis and to improve our services
- Understanding trends in the dispute resolution sector
You have the right to object to this processing. Should you wish to do so please contact our Office Manager via our main office number or contact form.
What are your rights?
GDPR entitles you to request a copy of your personal data. This is known as a “Subject Access Request”. If you wish to make such a request, please do so in writing to our Office Manager, or speak directly to the person in our firm who is dealing with your matter.
A request for access to your personal data means you are entitled to a copy of the personal data we hold on you – such as your name, address, contact details, date of birth, information regarding your health etc. This means that a Subject Access Request will not normally result in you getting a copy of your file because you are only entitled to your personal data – not the documents that contain that data.
We will only use information lawfully permitted. If at any point you believe the information, we process on you is incorrect you can request to see this information and have it corrected.
You have the right to request that personal data that we hold on you are deleted or transferred to a third party and we have a duty to acknowledge these requests. Any person wishing to exercise this right should apply in writing to the Data Protection Officer, Catherine O’Mahoney, by post to Divorce Nicely, Maison Dieu Gardens, Maison Dieu Road, Dover, Kent CT16 1TG. However please note that our response will be subject to our other legal and regulatory duties and this may impact on our ability to comply fully with such requests.
The following information will be required before access is granted:
- Full name and contact details of the person making the request
- Their relationship with Divorce Nicely
- Any other relevant information e.g. timescales.
We may also require proof of identity before access is granted.
Queries about handling personal information will be dealt with swiftly and politely. Divorce Nicely aims to comply with requests for access to personal information as soon as possible, but will ensure it is provided within the month required by the GDPR.
Complaints about the use of personal data
If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer who will investigate the matter. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
For further current information visit the Information Commissioner’s website.