Mediation Solicitors in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich & North Lakes
Mediation is one of the many options available to separating couples on your pathway to resolution.
It is generally a quicker and more cost-effective option and can be used early on in your journey to resolve matters, potentially avoiding the significant cost and stress of an ongoing family law matter and court.
An independent and neutral third party (the mediator) works with you and your former partner, and your family lawyers as the case may be, to negotiate and reach a decision about future arrangements for parenting and/or the division of property.
The mediator’s role is to assist both of you to generate options, explore issues in depth, reality test options and reach the best possible joint decision given your circumstances. They cannot impose any decisions.
Mediators work differently, but most will work on a “shuttle-basis”. You are both in separate rooms and the mediator will move between rooms throughout the session to communicate questions, responses and offers between you both. This means you have personal space to contemplate and consider, and seek legal advice from your family lawyer confidentially. If an agreement is reached it is sometimes appropriate to convene in one room to settle the terms of the agreement together. This may not be an option for you and if you are worried about this happening to let your family lawyer know so that it can be avoided from the outset.
Mediation is generally conducted as one distinct event rather than a process over time. Most mediations will be either a half-day session (morning or afternoon) or a full-day session.
Depending on the complexity of your situation you may cover all of the issues on the table, being both parenting and property; or these could be separated into two mediation events.
There is also no rule that prevents you from attempting mediation more than once to work towards resolution outside of court.
For parenting mediations, there are options to make sure the children have a voice. Normally this will involve your children meeting with a social scientist or psychologist to gain an understanding of their wishes so that these can be expressed during the mediation.
There are a lot of things to consider when deciding if this is actually an option for your family. It is wise to seek family law advice for child inclusive mediation specific to your children and situation.
A lot of matters are able to be resolved through mediation, but not all can be. There are a whole range of alternatives available to you to work towards resolution without the need to go to court. Find out more about Your Alternatives here or download our free guide.
It is necessary to attend mediation, or Family Dispute Resolution, before filing court proceedings in the majority of parenting matters. Exceptions may be made in some situations such as family violence, or other extenuating circumstances. Your family lawyer will be able to consider your situation and advise accordingly.
The court will also generally require at least an attempt at mediating prior to hearing property matters.