The family law system in Australia requires parties to make a genuine effort to resolve their parenting and financial disputes before they can commence proceedings in the court system.
Designed to help parties reach their own mutually acceptable agreements following a separation or divorce, mediation is a proven method of dispute resolution. It can also be a more cost and time effective alternative to litigation.
One of the important features of mediation is the voluntary nature of the process - parties may withdraw from a mediation at any time. An essential part of productive negotiations is the willingness and capacity of parties to discuss and identify issues frankly, to make concessions and to compromise where appropriate. It is expected, however, that parties will participate in mediation in good faith and use their best endeavours to resolve their dispute.
The mediator is a neutral facilitator whose role it is to assist parties to reach an informed and voluntary settlement. The mediator will not make any decisions for parties or coerce parties to enter an agreement.
Mediators work with the parties, and their legal representatives, to:
- help identify issues;
- explore alternatives;
- generate options to assist parties to jointly resolve disputed issues; and
- to make decisions about future outcomes and actions.
An independent mediator helps guide parties to reach a decision – they do not represent either party.
Our mediators – Geoff Sinclair, James Steel, Melanie Rubin, Allison Caputo and Kirstie Colls – are all senior practitioners with extensive family law experience, and can provide mediation services directly from our offices in Brisbane and Sydney.
If you would like to know more about our mediation services, we invite you call us on 1800 265 326.