Family mediation is a process by which separating families can reach agreements about the care of children and the split of property without the need for litigation. It is compulsory in Australia to attempt to resolve family matters in Family Mediation before applying to Court for orders.
The purpose of Family Mediation is to resolve disputes between parties in an environment which is more comfortable and less adversarial then through the courts. A third party (The Mediator) will attend the mediation. The mediator, listens to both sides, helps identify the issues to be resolved, and suggests how issues can be overcome in a manner which is in the best interest of everyone involved.
Benefits of Family litigation
There are a numerous reasons why mediation can be beneficial for families who are separating;
- Mediation is faster than litigation, which means you can avoid the long wait times for your matter to be heard at court.
- The ouctome is considerably cheaper than litigation, allowing you to avoid court costs as well and solicitor fees.
- The process empowers both parties to be heard, in a safe and confidential setting.
- It can be flexible in its approach and allows the parties to control how the matters are to be handled, as opposed to the Courts which are rigid in their approach and procedures.
What happens if you are unable to negotiate a settlement?
Failing to reach a settlement in your first attempt does not mean you have to begin litigation. If you are unable to reach a mediated settlement there are further options, including;
- Continuing to negotiate with the other party.
- Engaging a solicitor to negotiate on your behalf; and
- Entering into a further Family Mediation.
If all else fails, then you can than proceed to file your matter at court.
Can you have a Lawyer present?
Not all family matters are simple, and not everyone is confident enough to represent themselves. It is understandable that in complex and emotional circumstances you may wish to have the assistance of an experienced solicitor to help you in this high stress environment.
All parties to a family mediation are welcome to have legal representation. It is always your decision as to whether it is appropriate for you in your circumstances.
Can A.L.F lawyers assist me?
We would be happy to assist you in your matter. We can provide assistance with not only the legal aspects of your matter, but also help you decide what will be the best way to move your matter forward in the safest, cheapest and most practical way. The experienced team at A.L.F Lawyers will asssit you in all family mediation, including children and property matters. If you require assistance, please contact our offices.