This week marks the beginning of the Australian Mediation Awareness week.
Mediation is a form a dispute resolution which is non-adversarial and focuses on how parties to a dispute might be able to compromise to reach a solution that everybody can live with.
Unfortunately, mediation is not always considered as a legitimate alternative to litigation.
In the family law system, parties are obligated to attempt mediation before filing an application in Court where the application involves parenting orders. The Court will not normally accept an application without a s60i certificate from a qualified family dispute resolution practitioner.
This requirement is not extended to property maters, where parties can commence proceedings in the family court at any time.
Mediation differs quite significantly from litigation.
To begin with, it is much cheaper. Most of our clients spend $770 to mediate their matter. Just the filing fee in the Family Court of Western Australia will cost a party nearly $500 and this does not include any legal fees for the preparation of the documents.
Mediation is also much faster. On average, a case may take 12-18 months to obtain a hearing date in the Family Court. Mediation can usually be organised within a couple of weeks.
While litigation is an adversarial process, mediation is more focussed on finding solutions to the conflict. Parties get a chance to talk about how the other party's actions made them feel and explain why they may have reacted a certain way. Mediation is a safe space to clear the air and hopefully move forward.
If you are going through separation or divorce, contact us to discuss how we can help simply your settlement.
For more information on mediation awareness week, you can visit: https://www.mediationawarenessweek.org.au/