Family Law Mediation:
What exactly is mediation in family law, and how does it work?
Mediation can be a powerful tool in resolving family law disputes. By providing a neutral space for parties to communicate and negotiate, mediation can pave the way towards mutually beneficial solutions without resorting to stressful and costly court battles. At Edwards Moloney Family Law, we are dedicated to helping our clients understand and navigate the mediation process. In this guide, we’ll discuss what mediation is, how it works, and why it can be a practical approach in family law disputes.
What is Mediation?
Disputes can arise from disagreements involving two parties or more. In family law, common disputes involve property division, child custody, and financial settlements. When an agreement can’t be made between the parties involved, they may enter the mediation process.
Mediation is the process of having a neutral 3rd party, known as the mediator, assist the disputing parties in reaching an agreement. Under the family law act 1975, parties must genuinely attempt mediation. This is especially true for matters involving children.
What is Family Dispute Resolution?
Family dispute resolution, commonly called FDR, is a specific form of mediation designed to help families navigate a separation. The goal is to assist families and participants in making plans and agreeing on future arrangements. For a complete overview of FDR, view this document outlined but the Australian government: Family Dispute Resolution:
- Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a specialised form of mediation.
- FDR is designed to help families resolve disputes collaboratively.
- FDR is often a prerequisite before court proceedings in Australia.
- FDR can help families create workable parenting arrangements
How does mediation work?
In Mediation, both parties must share their perspectives and engage in problem-solving conversations under the mediator’s guidance. The mediator doesn’t necessarily make any decisions but instead facilitates the discussions to help parties reach a mutually agreed resolution.
Parties will have various options available to them to ensure mediation can be held, such as
- Being in separate rooms (known as shuttle mediation)
- Having lawyers present
- Or being conducted via online platforms like Zoom.
Parties will need to disclose documentation and communicate their financial position and any other relevant information.
This process aims to establish a safe environment for parties to openly communicate and engage in discussions aimed at reaching a mutually beneficial agreement that all parties agree to.
- In mediation, the role of the mediator is to facilitate open, problem-solving conversations, not to make decisions.
- Parties can choose to conduct mediation in various ways, such as shuttle mediation, having legal representation present, or through online platforms like Zoom.
- Full disclosure of documentation and relevant information is essential in mediation, as it creates a safe and transparent environment.
How long does mediation last?
There is no set time limit for mediation, with the duration varying based on the issues’ complexity and the parties’ willingness to negotiate. For example, some medications can be resolved in a single session, while others may require several sessions over a period of weeks or months.
- The duration of mediation varies.
- Complex issues may require several mediation sessions.
Do children get involved in mediation?
While children typically do not participate directly in mediation sessions, their needs and interests are a central focus. Sometimes, a child consultant or legal representative may be appointed to provide input to ensure the child’s voice is heard and decisions are made in their interests.
- Children’s needs and interests are central to family mediation.
- In some cases, a child consultant may be appointed to provide input.
What happens after mediation?
If parties reach a mediation agreement, it can be formalised into a legally binding agreement or court order. If an agreement isn’t reached, parties may choose to proceed to court. However, the insights gained during mediation can still be beneficial for future negotiations.
- Agreements reached in mediation can be made legally binding.
- If no agreement is reached, parties may proceed to court
What are the benefits of Meditation?
Mediation brings with it a host of advantages compared to litigation. These include its relative affordability, the safeguarding of privacy, giving you greater control over both the process and its final result, and the potential to maintain amicable relationships. Furthermore, it can serve as a quicker alternative to protracted court cases.
- Mediation is often more cost-effective and quicker than court proceedings.
- It offers privacy and gives parties control over the process and outcome.
- Mediation can help preserve relationships between parties.
EM Family Law Mediation
Mediation can be an empowering process, offering a space for open dialogue and problem-solving. At Edwards Moloney Family Law, we’re committed to guiding you through the complexities of mediation, providing the expert advice and support you need. Our depth of knowledge and experience in mediation will help ensure that your rights and interests are always protected and your voice heard.
For more information about our mediation services or to book a consultation, please get in touch with us today. Together, we can pave the way to a more positive resolution.
Divorce & Separation
Expert divorce lawyers
When married couples separate, there is only one ground for the grant of a Divorce Order, and that is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is established by the parties being separated for a minimum of 12 months. In some circumstances, parties can be living under the same roof and still be able to establish this ground.
Expert property settlement lawyers
Edwards Family Lawyers can assist you and your spouse/partner to come to an agreement in relation to all financial matters and issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship, including the division of all assets and liabilities, spouse maintenance payments, superannuation splitting orders and child support departure Orders.
Negotiation & Resolution
Expert negotiation and resolution lawyers
Opportunities for negotiation and settlement exist not only before proceedings are commenced, but also after proceedings have been commenced and right up until the time that the Court finally hears and determines the matter. Parties can settle a matter at any time.
Parenting & Children
Parenting and Children Family Lawyers
The best interests of the children is the paramount consideration when determining the most appropriate and suitable arrangements for the children after a separation. At Edwards Family Lawyers, we encourage our clients to participate in the counselling or mediation services available to assist them to reach an agreement with their spouse/former partner
Edwards Family Lawyers offer Mediation Services to assist parties to engage in effective dispute resolution. Our Principal, Frances Edwards, has extensive experience in negotiating settlements in both parenting and property matters, and is a National Accredited Mediator and member of LEADR and IAMA.
De Facto Lawyers
De Facto couples (including same sex couples) who separate after 1 March 2009 have the same rights as married couples. The rights and obligations of couples upon the breakdown of a Marriage or De Facto relationship are now all governed by the Family Law Act 1975. De Facto couples who separated prior to 1 March 2009 are still covered by the old State legislation
Our Family Lawyers are here to help
We navigate legal issues for our clients with empathy and a deep understanding of the associated stresses and implications. We can help you, like we have helped many clients in Sydney.
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Edwards Family Lawyers is committed to providing expert advice on all areas of Family Law following the breakdown of your marriage or de facto relationship, including same-sex relationships.
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We acknowledge the Cammeraygal and Gadigal people being the traditional owners of the land on which we work and their elders past and present.