Family Dispute Resolution

family lawyers perth

Settling Family Dispute Resolution out of court with Perth Family Lawyers.

At Burra-Robinson Family Lawyers we are frequently asked the question: How does family mediation work.

This post will explain how family mediation in Perth works, and what happens after it.


What is Family Mediation?

Meditation helps people in conflict to resolve their disputes for both financial and children’s matters.

Mediation is designed to assist parties in obtaining an agreement without the need to have the matter determined by the Family Court.

There is a requirement that the parties who are in dispute over a parenting matter must first attend mediation before applying to the court for parenting orders. You should consult legal counsel to determine whether mediation is required.

Mediation is a way to come to an informal agreement with another party which can then be formalised into Family Court Orders.  It allows you to discuss your ideas and concerns with one another. Mediation is often a quicker and less expensive option than going to court.


The Key Features of Mediation

Willingness, confidentiality, as well as parties being the ‘architects’ of the final agreement between the parties. Mediation has the following objectives:

  • Find common ground and explore all possible solutions
  • This empowers parties to resolve their disputes to mutual satisfaction


What Does a Family Mediator Do?


The mediator is not a representative of either party in family mediation in Perth. However, they remain neutral and do not offer legal guidance to both sides, allowing them to make the best decisions for their lives.

Mediators are skilled and knowledgeable in handling all aspects of separation, including those that concern the care of children. They empower both sides with all the information to minimise conflict and stress for the whole family.

Mediation is an effective tool to resolve disputes.


What Happens During Family Dispute Resolution


Family dispute resolution (FDR) practitioners will identify issues between parties and help them to resolve them. They also encourage each side to consider the point of view of the other.

FDR practitioners will help keep children in mind and keep everyone on track. It is important to find solutions that best serve the interests of children. Ideas and other options will be discussed to reach an agreement. The FDR practitioner will make sure that all parties are clear on what they have agreed to at the end of the session.

If property is involved, the practitioner will attempt to determine the net pool assets that need to be divided. This involves facilitating discussions and providing information about agreed assets and liabilities.

The history of contributions as well as future needs can be discussed. A lawyer is recommended to review any financial offer before it is accepted. It is recommended that a lawyer draft the agreement to be binding. This agreement can be used to transfer land, exempt stamp duty applications, and end any future court proceedings.


What Happens After Mediation?


After all issues have been resolved, the mediator will draft the agreement. Both parties can either sign it or go to their Perth family lawyers for a final opinion. To avoid future conflict, the agreement should outline all terms and provide as much detail as possible. It should contain details about custody, child support, and parental rights.

After both parties sign the agreement, the mediator will submit the document to the Court for approval. It will then be legally binding.

If there are still unresolved issues and no settlement is reached, the Court of Law will decide these issues. This may not be satisfactory for either party and can also prove costly and time-consuming. Even so, it would have been worthwhile to pay the mediation fees as only unresolved issues could be argued in Court.


Do I Need a Lawyer to Mediate?


The short answer to this question is no. Each party can mediate without or with a lawyer present.

We recommend that parties who agree to mediate with no lawyers obtain legal advice about their rights and entitlements prior to mediation. This is not a requirement.

The same process can be used if both parties use family lawyers in Perth. Some parties prefer that their lawyers do most of the negotiating while some parties prefer to speak for themselves.

A lawyer is available to provide legal advice regarding the mediation proposals and how to structure any agreements you reach.

Lawyers are not authorised to ask questions or make legal submissions. However, your lawyer will provide legal advice and guidance that is not adversarial or litigious.

This is because mediation aims to resolve disputes in a peaceful manner that will hopefully improve communication between disputing parties.


We are Here to Help


Would you like to speak to a trusted family mediator in Perth?

Burra-Robinson Family Lawyers offers family mediation in Perth for divorcing and separating couples.

Contact us now to find out more about mediation and how it could help you.