- Preparation for mediation
- Lawyer-assisted mediation
- Mediation agreements
- Other Alternative Dispute Resolution methods
VM Family Law are experienced in representing our clients in Ipswich family law mediation cases. Matters of this nature require great care, sensitivity, and expertise. If you need family law and mediation services, our team of expert family law mediation lawyers are available to guide you. Commonly referred to as family dispute resolution, our mediation services are able to assist in property or financial matters, child support issues, and more. Chat with our team today.
Family Law Mediation FAQ's
Going through a separation can be a challenging time for both spouses. Apart from the emotional distress that they go through, there’s the legal aspect. They have to settle on who-gets-what with regards to custody of the kids, division of property, financial matters, child support and so on.
However, separating couples do not always have to end up before a judge in a heated battle of varying opinions. They can always explore mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method.
In mediation, a neutral third party tries to help the couple reach a peaceful resolution that they are both comfortable with. The parties may choose to appoint the neutral third party themselves or leave the appointment to a judge. This neutral third party does not have to be a lawyer, what matters is that the mediator has no bias towards any of the parties.
Before you jump at mediation, you should have an idea of what to expect during a divorce mediation.
The mediator will invite you and your spouse to a divorce mediation session. By explaining the mediation process to you, the mediator would help you both to understand the implications of decisions made during mediation. The goal is that neither of you has to feel compelled to agree to any unfavourable decision during mediation.
The mediator has a duty to ensure that you and your spouse arrive at a peaceful conclusion and that you consider what is best for your children if you have any.
In divorce mediation, you do not have to agree on all the issues raised. At the end of the session, the mediator will put down the decisions reached in the divorce mediation as a Memorandum of Understanding. After both spouses sign it, the document can become a legally binding document in the courts.
Divorce mediation is a great option you might want to consider if you want to reach quick resolutions in a more comfortable environment. It is also cheaper than litigation, and it allows you to express your thoughts as you wish. Be rest assured that everything discussed in a mediation session is confidential.
It is not compulsory to attend divorce mediation meetings together with your spouse. You may decide to meet the mediator separately.
In a lawyer-assisted mediation, you attend mediation meetings with your family lawyer. Having a lawyer present with you during mediation is always advisable. They have your best interests in mind and will ensure that you do not agree to the wrong things. They’ll help you make more confident decisions.
And when the parties agree on a matter, their lawyers can draw up agreements immediately to enforce those decisions. However, you don’t want to take just any lawyer to a divorce mediation session. You need a family lawyer that is well versed in Australian divorce law, as well as in the family law mediation process. Book a consultation with the expert family lawyers at VM Family Law today.
The family law mediation process is completely voluntary. As such, you can walk away at any point during the mediation process. And while you should be positive and open to negotiations, you should not feel pressured to agree to any of the proposals.
It is important to have this at the back of your mind because you will be legally bound by anything you officially agree to. Once you sign the mediation agreement, backing out becomes difficult. This is particularly true when there’s no proof that you were under any sort of duress when you signed the agreements.
However, if you change your mind before signing the agreement, negotiations can simply resume again.
When couples go through a separation, the matter of who gets child custody usually arises. Sometimes, this can generate disputes which could drag on in court for a long time. However, this does not have to be the case. Parents can, through mediation, settle amicably on the custody of their children.
Mediation for child custody allows both parties to make decisions that are in the best interest of the children without any interference. It also allows them to set up a system that allows both parents to have access to the children.
By using mediation for child custody, parties can decide who gets legal or physical custody of the children. The parent with legal custody makes the major decisions in a child’s life. On the other hand, the child lives with the parent with physical custody. Unless there’s an exceptional reason, it’s better to have both parents share legal custody.
In some rare circumstances, separated couples can opt to skip mediation altogether and go straight to court. However, it is usually advisable that you go through mediation first to try and settle your differences outside of the Court.
Even the Courts expect separating couples to have tried the mediation process before bringing disputes before it. This is because family mediation has a successful record of helping couples reach peaceful resolutions, without going to court.
However, there are certain instances where you may not want to attend mediation or Family Dispute Resolution before you take your matter to court.
- Where there is domestic violence involved in a relationship, you are not compelled to peaceful resolution meetings with your spouse.
- Where you do not know the whereabouts of your former partner.
- Where the other party refuses to show up for mediation or does not consider mediation a proper approach to the problem at hand
- Where the court application you want to make covers other family law matters that the court needs to attend to.
- Where you cannot reach peaceful conclusions with the other party on financial matters because one of you has been declared bankrupt.
- Where you recently tried mediation and it did not yield any success.
Whatever the situation, mediation or litigation, you need the services of an experienced and qualified family lawyer. One that understands the delicateness of separation matters. VM Family Law is that lawyer.