There are three avenues for mediating a Family Law dispute, a Family Law dispute is any disagreement between family members, most often this is separating or divorcing couples and parents
A Family Law Mediation is a mediation involving at least three people one of which is a qualified and registered Family Dispute Resolutions Practitioner
- Solicitors can mediate, the advantage is they can provide legal advice if required whilst you are mediating. Importantly, they cannot by law represent you or your former partner as a Solicitor and also act as your mediator. A mediator must be impartial, they are required to be a neutral third party to the dispute. A solicitor, who has acted for you as a mediator, cannot go on and represent you in court. You must find a new Solicitor if the matter goes to court. Also, Solicitors tend to charge their usual fees when conducting mediations, consequently mediating with a Solicitor can be an expensive alternative.
- Government funded organisations such as Relationships Australia or FMC can be cost effective but they are often very slow and you can’t pick your mediator. It can take weeks to get in to see someone and then months before you reach settlement. If you are on benefits you will get free mediation clients who are working charged a sliding scale dependant on their income, this can be as much as $250.00 per hour. It is also important to know that the Government funded organisations are not funded for Financial Settlements and the fee per clients can be as much as $300.00 per hour.
- Private Mediation is conducted by individuals who have qualified as an FDRP (Family Law Mediator) and have private practices, this includes Solicitors, Psychologists, and Social Workers. Private Mediators can usually see you quickly and can work with you to resolve the dispute often in days or weeks. Their fees vary depending on their expertise and qualifications. It is important to ask your mediator how many mediations per month they conduct. Many private practitioners work as Mediators on a part time basis, conducting their other businesses full time. Like any profession, when mediation is practiced often the practitioner is more skilled and has a more broad scope of knowledge and expertise.