Frequently Asked Questions about Mediation in Family Law cases.
- What is Mediation?
- Do I have to attend Mediation?
- Is Mediation recommended?
- Which Mediator should I engage and what does it cost?
Mediation is a method of negotiating with the other party on a confidential basis and with the assistance of an independent, specialised third party whose role is to facilitate discussion and hopefully, a settlement.
Mediation is mandatory for children’s matters if you want to start Court Proceedings. Certain exemptions apply and we can advise you if you qualify for one of the exemptions. It is not at this stage, mandatory for Property Matters, although this may change in the future.
Mediation is a good tool to try and resolve a matter when private negotiations are not providing results. In many circumstances, Mediation becomes a party’s last opportunity to settle a matter before going to Court.
The Court’s are also appreciative of the benefits of Mediation, and in most circumstances, if the parties have not already done so (or sometimes even where they already have), the Court will Order parties back to Mediation before the matter progresses in the Court system with a view of trying to resolve the matter at minimal expense and with minimal exposure for the parties to the stress and delays of Court proceedings.
Who you engage will depend on the type of matter you have and what you are prepared to pay in relation to Mediator’s fees.
There are numerous options available ranging from government centres such as Relationships Australia or the Family Relationship Centre which are at minimal costs; to private Mediators who may be Solicitors or Barristers that have practiced or continue to practice in the Family Law field.
The costs of a private Mediator will vary depending the complexity of your matter, the amount of preparation required, whether the matter proceeds for a half or full day and will also depend on the level of experience of the Mediator.
You should also be aware that not all options will allow you to have a Solicitor present during the Mediation and as such, if this it is important to you to have a Solicitor present, you should make this enquiry when booking a Mediator. Alternatively, contact our office to discuss the options available and what may be most suitable in your circumstances.