family and relationships

Family Dispute Mediation

Mediation is an important part of the family law system and often one that Courts insist upon at one point or another.

The rationale for mediation throughout the family law system is that adversarial Court is often not the best thing for parties who have been in a personal relationship as a first resort, and that it can be damaging to ongoing relationships, particularly when parenting is involved.

To that end, mediation is usually a requirement prior to starting parenting cases in Court. There are exceptions focussed around family violence issues, but otherwise, there is an expectation that you will attend a mediation with a group like Relationships Australia, to try to resolve without lawyers or the Court. It is however very useful to consult a lawyer before taking that step so that you understand what your rights and responsibilities are, as well as what the rights of your children are. We very often help people prepare for mediation of this type by testing out proposals, working through the details, and helping to identify where areas of inconsistency or strategy might come in.

Alternative Dispute Resolution is the term that is often used in a Court context for mediations and other types of non-adversarial approaches. In the modern family law system, ADR is often ordered and encouraged throughout your case.

Mediation also applies to property cases. In fact, a Court insists even once you have started your case, that you attempt some form of mediation. That can be a conciliation conference, funded by the Court for modest-value asset pools or a mediation with an external mediator where they are greater-valued assets or really complex issues have arisen.

That does not mean you have to be in Court to do mediation in a property case. We often advocate for conducting mediations once you have got all the documents you need, or conducting what is called a round-table conference with you and your lawyers.

We also work with collaborative lawyers to conduct collaborative law, an open and transparent process designed to avoid conflict.

Whatever the type of mediation, we have done it – and know how to prepare you for it. Call us to discuss what might work for you today.


Richard Hamilton
Erin Trantino
Stacey Raphael

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