Mediation

All Family Provision Claims will be referred to mediation after the initial hearing, unless ordered otherwise. Mediation, if successful, usually results in a considerable saving in legal fees. Frank Legal highly recommends mediation and will always endeavour to obtain a successful outcome.

The court has the power to order mediation with or without the consent of the parties. The court can make directions about mediation and require the court to be notified when mediation is completed.

All mediations are conducted on a “without prejudice basis”.. This means that any statement made by a client during the mediation cannot be used later as evidence in court without the consent of both parties.

Evidence of anything said or any document produced at a mediation cannot be used in the court proceedings if settlement is not reached.

Private Mediation

Frank Legal can assist with private mediation by:

  • Identifying two or three suitable mediators
  • Negotiating a fee and confirm the mediators’ preferred arrangements
  • Negotiating with the legal representative of the other party regarding the appointment of a mediator, preferably your preferred mediator.

The mediator will appoint a time for a directions hearing with the parties’ legal representatives. They need to agree on the form of the mediation, date and venue, what documents are to be read by the mediator, whether position papers are to be prepared and to determine parties’ authority to settle and any other matters relevant to the mediation.

Mediation by a Registrar

  • Mediation before a registrar is at no cost to either party, other than the costs of legal representatives.
  • Registrars are qualified mediators and are very experienced.
  • The court will set a date for the mediation, but there will not be a directions hearing.
  • The registrar will read only what is on the court file unless the parties arrange to file further material.

Why Mediate?

The Role of a Mediator

Mediators are facilitators and are not judges. A mediator does not decide who wins. The mediator will often point out the difficulties of a particular case from each of the parties’ perspectives, but will not make a judgement on the likely outcome of the dispute if it were to continue in court.

Mediation In Good Faith

The parties must make a genuine attempt to reconcile and resolve the dispute and not be unnecessarily objectionable.

All parties must agree that the matters discussed in the mediation and any agreements reached are confidential. Matters discussed in the mediation and any agreements reached cannot be discussed with other people except with legal representatives and as otherwise authorised by law.

Mediation Settlement Agreements

At mediation any agreement is translated into orders.

Once a mediation agreement has been made into an order it becomes a legally binding agreement. This means any subsequent breach of the agreement may expose a person to liability . The court usually orders that court proceedings are concluded and finally disposed of. The court may enforce any agreement or arrangement reached by the parties at mediation.

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