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Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation

Our team at Smart Legal are often posed with the following two questions.

  1. “What is divorce mediation?” and
  2. “Do I need a lawyer for divorce mediation?”

They sound like simple questions, but the answers entirely depend on your circumstances. In an ideal situation, you and your ex-partner will be on the same page regarding asset splits and making future arrangements for your children. But let’s face it, there is nothing ideal about divorce. It is important to note that while a lawyer is not necessary to get divorced, no matter how amicable your split may seem, things can come undone in the blink of an eye, making your situation complicated and nasty. Therefore, having someone in your corner to represent you and ensure the process is smooth is priceless.

Many people come to us when they feel uncertain about their rights and responsibilities; if this sounds like you, it may be time to seek legal advice.  There are various options as you approach divorce; one is mediation. You will find mediators do not act for either party; instead, they remain entirely neutral and impartial throughout the divorce mediation process by helping both parties find fair and acceptable terms. Both parties are entitled to have their lawyers present at the mediation, or they can seek further legal advice before finalising any agreement.

Mediators are accredited under an Accredited Mediators Scheme and may also be registered, legal practitioners.  So, does mediation work? The fact is that very few couples who choose to mediate in Australia end up going to Court, which is testimony to its effectiveness. It is also one of the many reasons why all parents seeking to obtain orders regarding children must attempt Family Dispute Resolution / Mediation before applying for a Parenting Order under the Family Law.

Mediation is far less costly and more efficient, seeing faster settlements than going through the court system. In addition, some mediators charge an upfront fixed fee, so both parties know what they’re in for when it comes to costs with no hidden fees.

It is also far less stressful for the whole family. How long the process will take depends entirely on the individual situation, how many disputes you have, and how motivated you are to agree.

In order to find an amicable solution, mediation can take a lot of the emotion and conflict out of the process. Mediation is conducted ‘without prejudice’, which means nothing you say at mediation can be used in evidence in a later trial without your consent. These without prejudice discussions enable you to talk about your concerns openly and freely and allow you to propose ideas that might settle your case.

Mediation ends when you either reach an agreement or when you can’t. If you fail to reach an agreement, the case will be ongoing and may end in the need to go to trial.

If you are considering divorce or you would like family law advice, please get in touch with one of our specialised family lawyers today on 1300 780 540.

Please note our blogs are not legal advice.