Relationship and family breakdown can be a very stressful and uncertain time. You may have received advice from well meaning friends and family, ‘take your ex to Court!’ This may have been your first reaction. However, it can soon become apparent how costly and emotionally draining court proceedings can be. That’s before mentioning the lengthy delays. There is another option. In this week’s blog we look at what Family Law Mediation is and why it is an option worth considering.
What is Family Law Mediation?
Mediation is the process where an independent person, known as a mediator, assists two people in disagreement resolve their issues. The mediator does this by identifying the issues in dispute and facilitating a discussion. The issues in dispute are explored and options to resolve them are discussed. The aim of mediation is for you to reach your own agreement.
Family Law Mediation is officially known as Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) and the mediator a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP). Most issues in family law can be mediated on including issues involving children and property.
What are the Benefits of Family Law Mediation?
Whether it be over the children or property, when you disagree on what should be done there are two options. You can commence Court proceedings and have a Judge make a decision for you or you can reach an agreement.
Agreement, you may scoff! ‘We can’t agree, that’s why we broke up in the first place!’ It may seem like the impossible but you don’t have to come to that agreement by yourselves. FDRPs are specially trained and can help you through the mediation process.
Family law mediation has many benefits including:
- You are in control of reaching your own agreement as opposed to having a Judge, who doesn’t know you or your children, making that decision for you.
- Family law mediation is more cost effective than Court proceedings. The legal costs in Court proceedings can soon add up. Mediation fees are fixed, you know how much it will cost from start to finish.
- Mediation can be arranged at a time and place suitable to you. There are no lengthy delays. This means that you can get on with your life sooner.
- Family law mediation is conducted in a less formal setting than a Courtroom. Generally they are conducted around a conference table. Or a shuttle or telephone mediation can be arranged if deemed more suitable. The choice is yours.
- Mediation can assist in developing a working relationship between the parties moving forward. The adversarial nature of the Courtroom is avoided. You are more likely to stick with an agreement if you have a say in making it. This has obvious benefits to children involved.
How do I Arrange Family Law Mediation?
Our Principal, Melissa Sharpe, is an accredited FDRP and is able to mediate all family law issues. You are able to attend mediation with or without a solicitor. Contact Sharpe Legal and Conveyancing today on (02) 4605 1501 to find out about a mediation suitability assessment.