To Mediate or Not to Mediate?

How To Know If Mediation Is Right For Your Family Law Matter

Going through separation can be a tough and emotional experience. And to add to that, it is costly too. Fees incurred during family law matters often appear to snowball and leave you largely out of pocket – even after your separation is finalised.

Another costly aspect of this is going to court. This too burdens both sides with expensive fees, and can be a highly stressful process. Going to court should be always be avoided if possible, but there are still ways to have your interests heard.

Mediation, if appropriate, can assist you in reaching an agreement with your ex-partner, at a much smaller personal cost to you.

So, what is Mediation?

Mediation or FDR (Family Dispute Resolution) is a confidential form of dispute resolution by which two parties attempt to come to an agreement with the guidance of an accredited mediator (Family Relationships Online, Family Law Act 1975).

Mediation is often successful because it focuses on interests – not positions. During mediation, a neutral mediator will consult and consider what primary outcomes each party seeks, and discuss the different ways to achieve that, while also satisfying the interests of the other party. Sometimes mediation will take hours – even days – however it remains a quick and effective process when compared to going through court. Parties can remain in separate rooms, if desired, and a mediator will ‘shuttle’ between each room to speak with each person individually. In matters involving parenting, mediation is compulsory before applying to court, and it will often involve focusing on children’s best interests (Family Relationships Online).

There are of course situations where mediation is unsuccessful or inappropriate, for example in situations of family violence or child abuse. Learn more about the exceptions here.

So, is mediation right for you?

Call us today to find out on (07) 3221 8000

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