Mediation and Dispute Resolution

Mediation attempts to resolve disputes amiably, in a neutral environment. Berryman Partners can provide expert advice and support throughout this process.

Mediation is a process where parties involved in a dispute sit down with a qualified neutral third party to discuss issues in attempt to reach a resolution. Mediation can be used in all types of family law disputes.

It is not a requirement to have lawyers present in mediation however, many people feel more comfortable with a legal advisor who can provide support and guidance through this process. The family lawyers at Berryman Partners are experienced in providing advice and assistance in mediation sessions. If you would like legal representation for mediation, please contact our friendly team today.

Mediation can be a very effective process to resolve family law disputes. The advantages to mediation include:

  • Cost effective process
  • Less stressful than going to Court
  • A decision can be reached in a shorter time frame
  • Flexible and informal processes
  • Disputing parties are directly engaged in negotiation
  • Information disclosed during mediation is confidential and cannot be divulged as evidence in a court proceeding

Family dispute resolution is a type of mediation to help separating families reach their own agreements. The main objective is to assist participants make a parenting plan, setting out agreed future parenting arrangements. It is compulsory that you attend mediation prior to filling out any application to the Family Law Court.

During the family dispute resolution process, the mediator will help to identify issues that need to be resolved and encourage each party to listen to the other’s point of view. Ideas will be shared, with the aim of coming up with solutions that are in the best interests of the child.

Once an agreement is reached, it can be recorded as a parenting plan which must be in writing, dated and signed by both parents. If the mediation is not successful, the mediator can issue a Section 60I certificate to allow an application to be made to the family law court. You can read more about this process on the Parenting page.

All cases are eligible to be referred to mediation, regardless of their complexity or number of parties.

Some factors that may indicate that your case is suited to mediation include:

  • A willingness of all parties to participate in mediation
  • The possibility that judge’s decision will not end the dispute or suit the needs of the parties
  • The need for the parties to find a way to preserve their relationship
  • Financial concerns

Mediation FAQ’s

Mediation is a process whereby an independent third party, facilitates a discussion between parties to try to resolve a dispute. Family Dispute Resolution is a special type of mediation that is available to parties to resolve disputes following the breakdown of a relationship.

If you wish to discuss further details regarding the mediation or Family Dispute Resolution process, give our dedicated and experienced team a call.

Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution are both voluntary processes and you cannot be forced to participate. However, it is a requirement under the Family Law Act 1975 that parties participate in dispute resolution prior to commencing a Court case about parenting issues. If you refuse to participate without a valid reason as to why you are not participating, the mediator or Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner can issue a Section 60I Certificate which will allow the other party to commence Court proceedings.

If you hold concerns about participating in mediation or Family Dispute Resolution, please give our experienced team a call to discuss.

Yes, property settlements can be mediated. It is best to have an experienced mediator who can assist facilitate the mediation process. It is much more cost-effective for parties to participate in a mediation process to try to resolve their dispute and allows the parties to have the opportunity to be heard and to express their thoughts.

If you would like to find out further information about participating in mediation to try to resolve a property settlement dispute, please do not hesitate to give us a call for a confidential discussion.

Not all cases are suitable for mediation or Family Dispute Resolution. Before mediation or Family Dispute Resolution takes place, the mediator or Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner will undertake an intake process to consider whether your matter is suitable for this process.

This will include considering any history of family violence, safety of the parties, whether there is equal bargaining power between the parties, if there is any risk that a child may suffer from abuse, the emotional, psychological and physical health of the parties and any other factors that may be considered relevant.

If you believe that you may fall into any of these categories, we have a team of family law experts here to discuss your options and the next steps involved.

Yes. It can be beneficial to the parties if each of their respective legal representatives participate in the mediation or Family Dispute Resolution process with their clients. We can help you with this. We can provide you with advice about any proposals and assist you with the negotiation process.

Your lawyer will need to be present to ensure that you are provided the appropriate advice and understand the nature and effect of any agreements you may enter into with your former partner. Whilst some mediators and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners can be practising solicitors or barristers, not all mediators are and are not qualified to provide legal advice. They are an independent third party that is to remain neutral to assist the parties in trying to reach a resolution.

If you are considering engaging Berryman Partners to assist you in your mediation process, do not hesitate and give us a call today to talk to our experienced team.

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