23 Sep Why mediate?
Mediation is a way of resolving disputes between people in conflict, usually facilitated by a neutral person. Separated families are encouraged to use family mediation to help resolve their disputes about children, instead of using the family law courts.
The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) stipulates that where parties have a dispute about a parenting matter, that they must attend mediation first before filing an application to the court to seek parenting orders. There are exceptions to this rule, and you should seek legal advice to determine if you are required to attend mediation or not.
Mediation provides you an opportunity to reach an agreement with the other party in an informal environment where you can discuss with each other your proposals and ideas. Mediation can be organised quickly and are less costly then proceeding to court.
You can choose whether you will have a lawyer to attend with you at mediation or you can attend without a lawyer.
The mediator will ensure that each person has an opportunity to speak and be heard and will summarise the key points. At any point during a mediation you can request a break or to speak privately to the mediator.
Family Mediation Hub offers specialised Family Law mediation services to discuss children’s and/or property settlements. If an agreement is reached, the mediator can confirm the key points and then refer the parties back to their lawyers to draw up the agreements in a legally binding way.
In other cases, the parties can simply agree to keep things informal and follow the arrangements after mediation “in good faith”.