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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Mediation Work

Justice Family Lawyers Sydney

Mediation is a form of dispute resolution. It involves a neutral, independent third party, called a mediator, who helps two people in conflict with each other reach an agreement.

The mediator is there to facilitate communication and understanding and to help each party work out what is best for them. The mediator helps the parties negotiate.

Mediation is much less formal than court proceedings and does not take as much time. It is also far cheaper and usually more successful. Spouses in conflict with each other can choose to participate in mediation rather than start a court case.

They can use mediation to help resolve disputes about finance, property, parenting and families. However, if one or both decide to make a court application, they may have to take part in compulsory family dispute resolution before the case can begin.

Family dispute resolution is another term for mediation. In 2006, new family law legislation made family dispute resolution compulsory for couples in conflict over parenting issues. They must each make a genuine effort to come to an agreement. Only if this is unsuccessful and no agreement can be reached will the couple be permitted to commence a court case.

The parties must file a certificate from an accredited family dispute resolution practitioner to complete their application for parenting orders. As a mediator, the family dispute resolution practitioner helps both people discuss issues, think about different options and come to a mutually acceptable agreement about their parenting arrangements.

The family dispute resolution practitioner does not offer legal advice but helps explore options while keeping a focus on the best interests of the child. Decisions made in family dispute resolution are not legally binding on their own.

If two spouses come to an agreement, they can formalise this agreement by filing for consent orders.

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