What is mediation?
In family law, mediation is commonly referred to as “family dispute resolution”.
With or without lawyers, mediation involves the parties attending on a family dispute resolution practitioner (mediator) to assist them communicate; by identifying the issues, develop options and consider possible resolutions to either narrow the dispute or settle all issues by agreement. Ordinarily, mediation should be considered as an effective alternative to litigation.
When is mediation necessary?
The Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) requires parents to take all necessary steps to attempt to resolve the parenting issues in dispute. Before legal proceedings are commenced, parties should make a “genuine effort” to resolve their differences by attending on a family dispute resolution practitioner at mediation.
Failure to reach an agreement, and there being a necessity to commence litigation about parenting issues, a Section 60I Certificate from a family dispute resolution practitioner must be attached to the Initiating Application. There are however exceptions to this rule. Parents to a dispute may be able to start court proceedings in limited circumstances including urgency, risk of abuse and family violence.
Marr Family Lawyers can assist you in providing the advice and support prior to, during and after the mediation process, to ensure the best prospects of settling your family law matter by consent.