Benefits to Mediation in family law proceedings

Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, called a mediator, helps two or more parties to come to an agreement about a dispute. Mediation is often used in family law proceedings to resolve issues such as parenting arrangements and property division.

There are many benefits to mediation in family law proceedings. Some of the key benefits include:

  • It is less expensive than going to court. The cost of mediation is typically much lower than the cost of litigation. This is because mediation is a shorter process and does not require as many documents to be prepared prior to the mediation taking place.
  • It is faster than going to court. Mediation can often be completed in a matter of weeks or months, while litigation can take years. This is because mediation is a more informal process that does not require the same level of legal procedures.
  • It is more confidential than going to court. Mediation is a private process, and the discussions that take place are not made public.  This differs to court proceedings, which are a matter of public record and you may be listed with a number of families on any one court appearance.
  • It gives the parties more control over the outcome. In mediation, the parties have the ultimate say in the outcome of the dispute. This is unlike litigation, where the judge makes the decision.
  • It can help to preserve the relationship between the parties. Mediation can help the parties to communicate better and to resolve their differences in a way that is respectful of each other. This can be important for families who have children or who want to keep conflict low and maintain a civil relationship.
  • It can help the parties to reach a lasting agreement. Mediation is a voluntary process, which means that the parties are more likely to be committed to the agreement that they reach. This can make it more likely that the agreement will be lasting.

If you are considering mediation in your family law case, it is important to speak to a family law solicitor to learn more about the process, preparation and to see if it is right for you.  While mediation is an excellent way to resolve a dispute, it may not be appropriate in all cases, or additional steps might need to be taken to ensure a mediation can be carried out safely in circumstances such as family violence.

If mediation is successful, the agreement should be formalised to ensure that it is binding on the parties.  One option to formalise the agreement is Consent Orders and a family lawyer can prepare these for the parties.  If agreement cannot be reached, the parties may need to commence or continue court proceedings.

At Gillard Family Lawyers we can assist parties in all aspects of mediation.  Our Director, Michelle Gillard, is a nationally accredited mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.  Michelle can facilitate both parenting and property mediations for parties to assist parties reach an agreement. In addition, our experienced team of family lawyers can represent clients in parenting and property mediations.