What is Family Law Mediation

Family law mediation is a settlement process whereby a dispute can be negotiated through a private mediation process rather than utilising the court.

There are several acronyms in this process, one is ADR which stands for “Alternate Dispute Resolution”. ADR can take many forms but effectively it falls under the umbrella of anything involving mediation or arbitration to try to keep matters out of the court process.

Alternative dispute resolution generally involves the parties agreeing on a private mediator and then approaching that mediator to assist to mediate their dispute. The parties then fund the mediation which generally occurs over a period of approximately three hours but can take longer depending on the range of issues to discuss.

Family law mediation falls under the ADR umbrella as it is a type of mediation specific to family law. Other areas also can include mediation such as employment and neighbour disputes.

Family Mediation Hub focuses only on family law mediation which involves parties who have separated and wish to negotiate arrangements in relation to family law matters. The type of matters that the Family Mediation Hub can assist with include

  • Property settlement disputes such as financial arrangements, who will retain a property, if a property is being sold, family businesses and superannuation.
  • Parenting disputes which covers arrangements as to when the children will see each parent, where the children will live, schooling issues, issues of medical significance.
  • Spousal support or child support including payments directly to a spouse for future maintenance as well as child support issues or payment of child support on an ongoing basis.
  • Interim or short term arrangements. Often parties mediate when they are trying to work out what will happen in the long term but are not yet ready to reach a final agreement. Interim mediation can involve short term arrangements as to who will pay what bills or debts while a property is being sold and/or who will remain residing in the property with or without the children.
  • Issues involving parenting or arrangements to vary parenting such as important issues concerning passports, overseas travel, schooling or where the children will attend school and medical issues. Many of these mediations already have court orders in place and perhaps need fine tuning or updating.

Family law mediation operates under several different models. In the Family Mediation Hub our model is to offer:

  • A face to face mediation with both parties in the same room as the mediator.
  • A shuttle mediation where the parties are at the same venue but in separate rooms with the mediator going across each location.
  • A shuttle mediation where one party may be quite distance from the facility and the mediator conducts this via telephone with each of the parties and/or zoom, skype services where available.

If you are interested in finding out more about family law mediation, please contact us on 0438 212 175.