Mediation and dispute resolution
Mediation is now increasingly utilised by parties and their legal representatives to settle a matter or to narrow the issues. A mediator does not make a decision for the parties. The parties must come to an agreement.
At Evans & Company Family Lawyers we advocate the use of mediation.
Advantages of mediation
The advantages of mediating a dispute are:
- Reducing legal costs by settling a matter early.
- Early settlement of a matter results in a better relationship at the end of the day between parties. This is particularly important where parties have an ongoing relationship whether because of children or related business interests.
- The matter is dealt with privately and not within the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court.
- An independent mediator can be engaged jointly by the parties. This provides both parties with the opportunity to voice their views to a third party and feel that they are being heard
Mediation can be used at any stage of a family law matter.
Mediation can take the form of a round table discussion between both parties and a mediator without legal representation or the parties can choose to be legally represented.
At Evans & Company Family Lawyers, we have a specific room available for joint mediation sessions. We also have separate meeting rooms for each party and their legal representative. This provides the ability to conduct a “shuttle mediation” if necessary. “Shuttle mediations” take place where there are issues of domestic violence or a high level of conflict between the parties. These rooms are provided at no charge to our clients.
The Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court now direct that parties attend a mediation prior to a matter being given a hearing date. The Courts advocate the benefits of mediation.
What does a Mediator do?
A Mediator’s role is to:
- Facilitate negotiations and keep the conversation going.
- Ensure a level playing field.
- Encourage compromise.
- Provide options.
Mediation is a ‘without prejudice’ process and you cannot be forced to settle at mediation. If you do reach a resolution, an Agreement can be documented as either a Financial Agreement or Consent Orders.
You can choose to have the discussions between yourselves and the Mediator only, or with your legal representative present.
The Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court advocate the benefits of Mediation and now direct you to attend Mediation prior to a matter receiving a hearing date.