Category Archives: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a lawyer for a property dispute?

images-7We recommended that you seek legal advice to help you understand your legal rights when you separate for both parenting and property matters.  Parenting and property mediations can provide a platform for creating your agreements. If you are lucky enough to be able to reach agreement without lawyers or the courts then you can try and lodge the necessary forms to formalise your arrangement.  This link to the Family Court has lots of useful templates.  Written by Anna Faoagali, FDRP and accredited mediator.

http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/how-do-i/property-financial-orders

Accredited Mediators (FDRP’s) for Property and Parenting Disputes

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You will like the difference we are making!  Having set up Private- Mediation in 2010, Anna Faoagali has now been joined by Michael Maguire to facilitate successful property and parenting mediation outcomes for separated families.  We are ‘part of the solution’ as Nationally Accredited Mediators and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRP). Anna and Michael believe that mediation offers parents the best opportunity to move forward – retaining their ability to design solutions that are best for their own family. We work with parents to ensure that they can participate effectively. Private-Mediation; operates in QLD, NSW, VICTORIA, ACT and SOUTH AUSTRALIA and PERTH, cost effective and timely.

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Domestic Violence & Mediation

Mediators can issue a certificate S60I (b) if they assess mediation as being inappropriate. Often we get requests to proceed with mediation despite disclosures of domestic violence. This is because some parents believe that the Court process will further escalate their conflict and they are looking for a less confrontational approach. Other times parents describe behaviours as occurring only under certain conditions that no longer exist. Where parents want to proceed to mediation under those circumstances we can facilitate mediations and put in structures to keep the parties safe during the process (such as telephone mediations). Where there is a serious risk to the safety of the children or the parties, then parents may be compelled to use the Court processes whilst accessing broader support services.

What is a parenting mediation?

A parenting mediation involves engaging a neutral third party who is trained and experienced in working with separated parents to assist them reach agreements where they have previously been unable to do so. The mediator facilitating the discussion is required to be a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) registered with the Attorney General’s Office. Only these mediators are able to issue S60I which allows parents to progress to Court if they are unable to reach agreements. S60I’s are issued post mediation and you can request a certificate from your mediator. The certificates are valid for 12 months.

Is mediation a better option that going to court?

Mediation vs Court

Court is always an option but is generally only used as a last resort for very high conflict parents or parents who are dealing with re-location (fear of), violence, drug / alcohol abuse or other issues that require a more structured framework to manage issues of safety for the children.  Evidence shows that parents who engage in the Court process and arbitration  will damage their relationship even further.    Continue reading

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:

My lawyer has recommended another mediator – How do I choose?

Answer:

Most lawyers will want to look after your interests and will naturally gravitate to mediators that they know, have pre-existing relationships with or have worked with before. However, a good lawyer can work well with any mediator and should encourage you to look, compare and choose a mediator that works for you. Your lawyer should be working with you to seek a preferred mediator and may guide you by getting you to contact different mediators, ask questions about the mediator’s skills, experience, qualifications, cost and availability.

You are paying for the mediator and so ultimately you get to choose who you want to put forward to the other party to work with and can instruct your lawyer to use your preferred mediators (rather than their preferred mediators).

We can provide mediator profiles, details, and costs directly to you, your ex-partner and / or your lawyers.

Question:

I am not bringing my lawyers – How do I choose a Mediator?

Answer:

There are many different types of mediators. For parenting mediations (mediations about the children) you require a qualified and accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) because only FDRP’s can issue you with a S60I certificate. S60I certificates are required if you choose to pursue legal action at a later date.

For property mediations you do not require a FDRP, but your mediation should be facilitated by a nationally accredited mediator. Property and parenting mediations should always be two separate mediations.

Try to arrange to speak with your mediator prior to choosing one. Some questions you may want to ask your mediator include:

How will you run the mediation?
What will happen if I or the other party gets upset / angry at the mediation?
Do you give advice / recommendations if we can’t agree?
How will you control the other party?
What will happen if I don’t agree with the other party?
If the cost is a flat rate – what does that include?
Do you facilitate parenting plans or just mediated agreements?
What is the process if you are unable to reach agreement at your mediation?
Does it cost to get a replacement agreement or S60I certificate?

Question:

Why are mediator’s costs so expensive and varied?

Answer:

Mediators fees can be between it being free (some Family Relationship Centres – FRC’s) to $5000 per day or more. The cost of the mediator depends on their skills, experience, qualifications and the level of complexity of your circumstances.

Most mediators offer either a fixed mediation rate and / or an hourly rate with a set minimum hours. A basic two person mediation consists of – pre-mediation sessions with each party, the mediation, the drafting of a mediation agreement and a S60I certificate. Most mediators can quote a minimum number of hours to cover these aspects of your mediation. The average cost for a mediation at Private-Mediation ranges between $770 (micro-mediations – must meet a certain criteria) – $2,400. Usually an average mediation costs approximately $1,500.00. You need to contact us to get a specific quote for services. Our quotes are valid for 30 days.

Question:

Why do I have to attend a pre-mediation session, I just want to do the mediation?

Answer:

Mediators are required by law to make an assessment about whether the mediation is appropriate in the first instance. That is why we require you to attend pre-mediation sessions prior to your mediation. It is also an opportunity to help prepare you for your mediation, answer any questions that you may have, and alleviate any concerns that may come up for you.