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What is Mediation?

Mediation is the formal process where parties come together to resolve disputes with an independent third person known as a mediator. In the family law context, mediation is a way to attempt to settle the disputes regarding children or the division of property outside of court proceedings with the assistance of the mediator. During the Mediation process the mediator will work with the parties and their solicitors to identify the disputed issues, view and discuss fair alternatives and how to co-parent effectively, attempting to reach an agreement.

The parties are also encouraged to generate options, consider solutions and ultimately reach an agreement on some or all of the issues in dispute. Each party is afforded the opportunity to be heard.

Going through mediation is more affordable, it eliminates the chances of having to go to court which is an expensive process. It also avoids the chances of having to pay the legal costs of the other party if they are successful. At Bainbridge legal we encourage mediation as it is usually a far quicker process than litigating in court and also allows more flexibility, where the parties are able to have more control of the decisions and are more likely to be satisfied with the outcome.

What is Family Dispute Resolution?

In parenting matters the Family Law act makes it a requirement for parties in a dispute to make a genuine effort to try resolve the issues in dispute outside of court. Family Dispute Resolution is a more cost-effective way for separating families to reach a final decision about parenting arrangements. Family Dispute Resolution is a type of mediation that is available to families involved in a family law dispute usually surrounding issues around the children. An accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner is present during the mediation helping separated families discuss the issues in dispute and coming to an agreement. The Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner is trained in negotiation and specialises in settling family disputes. They will encourage parties to generate options and gives them the opportunity to openly discuss the issues in order for a mutual agreement to be made.

Parties are able to do Family Dispute Resolution through many organisations such family relationships centres, legal aid commissions, private lawyers or social workers.

It is always best to obtain legal advice about the mediation process. At Bainbridge Legal we are able to advise you on all your mediation and family dispute resolution options. Our practitioners can assist you in preparing for Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution and can attend with you. Unfortunately, Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution sometimes fail, in that case our practitioners will also assist you in your upcoming court proceedings. We can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, the relevant law, and the procedures you will need to comply with.

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