Mediation is a process whereby parties in dispute come together with a neutral third-party mediator in an attempt to resolve the dispute without necessitating litigation through Court. This places the decision-making power with the participants rather than a judge who knows very little about a family.
I specialise in conducting family law mediations. This process is also known as a Family Dispute Resolution Conference or Conciliation Conference (if conducted by the Family Law Courts), and is generally referred to as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
The potential issues addressed at Mediation include (but are not limited to) the following:
- arrangements for the care of children (such as living arrangements and time spent with parents or other significant caregivers such as grandparents)
- relocation of children
- school enrolment
- children’s names
- medical issues relating to children
- passports and overseas travel with children
- interim financial matters
- spousal maintenance
- property settlement
- child support
- implementation of Court orders
- contravention / breaches of Court orders
- changes to Court orders.
Mediation is future-focussed, rather than the litigation Court process which can take years to finalise, causes emotional and mental harm to families and generally costs each party tens of thousands of dollars.
Mediation is confidential and done on a “without prejudice” basis. This means that nothing said at a mediation can be used in subsequent Court proceedings. There are some limits to this confidentiality required by law, such as when a child is at imminent risk of harm or a person is likely to harm themselves or someone else.