Our Mediation Professionals on the Gold Coast Answer Your FAQs
When it comes to resolving family conflict after a separation, many people aren't aware that there are a number of ways these can be dealt with that don’t involve the courts.
Providing an alternative to a judge-imposed decision, mediation is a negotiation process in which a third-party independent professional acts as mediator to assist the parties in negotiating a resolution they both agree to.
At Pullos, we have a number of mediation professionals in our Gold Coast and Brisbane offices who can advise whether this might be a suitable option for you, as well as act as mediator.
Our mediation professionals answer your FAQs below.
What is Family Dispute Resolution?
Family dispute resolution is a way to resolve family law problems without going to court. This encompasses different methods of resolving conflicts. These include:
What Are the Benefits of Mediation?
There are a number of benefits to resolving Family Law issues outside of the courts. It is generally viewed as a low-risk method that delivers high success rates.
Our mediation professionals share some of these benefits below.
- Faster outcome. In most instances, disputes can be resolved in a faster time frame than they would be through a trial in court.
- Lower costs. If a dispute is resolved though mediation, you will avoid the costs associated with having a matter heard through court, which can also be more unpredictable. If you are unsuccessful at court, you may even be ordered to pay the other party’s legal costs.
- Complete confidentiality. Mediation is private. While the outcomes of Family Law Court are kept private pursuant to Section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975, judgments can be routinely published for use by lawyers and the Courts as precedents (and can be accessed by the public), but are done using pseudonyms to protect the privacy of those involved.
- More control. With mediation, you have more control over the outcome as you and the other party come to an agreement together, rather than letting a judge decide for you.
- Greater likelihood of positive outcome. Because you have more control over the outcome, there is a better likelihood of both parties being happy with the outcome. A skilled mediation professional will use a number of techniques to help each party find solutions they are happy with. This bodes well for more positive future interactions between both parties, which is helpful in situations where there are children involved.
For the best possible mediation outcome, we share some of our top tips for family mediation here.
Is Mediation Legally Binding?
You may choose to keep the agreement as an informal arrangement, or you may wish to make it a legally binding court order. To do this, your mediator will need to file your agreement with the Family Court. Our mediation professionals on the Gold Coast and Brisbane always recommend seeking legal advice before signing a legally binding document.
If the mediation is court ordered, the agreement that is reached is often automatically lodged as an official court order.
Once in place, not upholding the requirements of your mediation agreement may result in heavy fines or jail time.
When Would Mediation Not be Suitable?
Mediation is not suitable for everyone, or in all instances.
The most common instances where mediation would be inappropriate in a Family Law matter include:
- In circumstances where urgency is required;
- Where there is domestic violence or child abuse;
- You don’t know where your ex spouse is, and you are unable to contact them;
- Your mediation professional thinks mediation will not be suitable for you;
- An intervention order is in place preventing you from having any contact with the other person with a ‘no exception’ clause.
What Is the Difference Between Arbitration and Mediation?
The main difference between arbitration and mediation is that arbitration involves the use of a neutral party making a decision for the parties involved in the conflict on their behalf, whereas mediation is a process where the parties attempt to come to an agreement together with the help of a mediation professional.
Mediation is the preferred method when there is a likelihood of an agreement, whereas arbitration will be better suited in instances where there are more complex issues, or a legal matter has escalated.
How Successful is Mediation in Australia?
According to the Queensland Law Society’s Proctor, “anecdotally, practitioners in this arena report a success rate in mediation between 60% and 85%.”
It is typically viewed by legal professionals, the Family Law Courts and participants as a process that works, reducing stress and costs on parties and the pressure on the courts, and finding a solution that works for all parties.
Have More Questions for Our Mediation Professionals on the Gold Coast & Brisbane?
If you have more questions about mediation on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane, we can help. Our founder, Cassandra Pullos, is an industry leader in the field of mediation on the Gold Coast and nationally, as a mediator and educator, as well as Family Law expert. She has built a reputation for delivering exceptional results that reflect her future-focused, problem solving approach to mediation that respects both parties values & goals. She has expertise in devising and applying techniques and strategies that help parents to create a functioning separated family for the benefit of all children.