Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I attend mediation?
The parties in a mediation own the process and the outcome, whereas the Court controls the litigation pathway and the outcome of the litigation. Litigation can contribute to parties experiencing emotional and physical health issues, and lengthy delays. Relationships between parties may continue to be strained while litigation is underway. This can impact on others, especially children. Mediation is focused on enabling parties to maintain relationships post mediation. It enables parties to move on with their lives with certainty and in a cost effective way.
What happens at a mediation?
The parties will then be given the opportunity to explain their issues of concern without interruption and without verbal abuse or intimidating behaviour. Through the mediation process, Penny will identify issues in dispute after consultation with all parties. These issues are then explored in turn with Penny assisting the parties to generate options for agreement. Penny’s role as mediator is not to convince parties that their position is correct and should be accepted. Penny may meet with the parties separately in private, confidential sessions.
If an agreement is reached, heads of agreement or Consent Orders can be prepared or the lawyers will prepare these agreements after the mediation takes place.
Where will the mediation take place?
The mediation will take place at an agreed venue, where the parties feel most comfortable. Parties might agree on the mediation taking place by electronic media in the comfort of their own homes or their legal representatives’ offices, or they may prefer a neutral face to face venue.
Mediation rooms are available for hire at reasonable rates. The parties generally pay these fees equally.
For parties living remotely, Penny can arrange for the parties to connect to the mediation by Zoom.
How long will the mediation take?
How can I prepare for a mediation?
You need to ensure before the mediation takes place, that you have made full disclosure to the other party or their lawyer and to Penny, of all relevant documentation and issues. The prospect of a successful mediation reduces, if full disclosure is not made. The documents to be provided at the mediation will vary on the type of mediation. Penny should receive an outline of the history of the issues in dispute, your proposals in respect of those issues, and any Court documents, agreements and contracts. In property settlement mediations, Penny should receive a list of the assets and liabilities, and the valuations. Depending on the information received, Penny may request additional information.
Who can I bring to the mediation?
Do I have to be in the same room as the other party at the mediation?
Penny’s role is to address any power imbalances, and to enhance the ability of parties to negotiate without feeling any form of intimidation. This may involve Penny exploring issues and options with parties in private sessions, where you can speak freely with Penny. All discussions in private sessions are confidential, unless you give permission to Penny to relay any information provided in private session to the other party. You will be under no obligation to accept the other party’s position. The mediation can be terminated or adjourned at any time.
What happens if the other party doesn’t want to attend mediation?
If a parent does not wish to attend a mediation involving children, certain steps are required by law to be taken, inviting that party to participate in the mediation. This is referred to below under Can you provide me with a Section 60 I Certificate?
What are parenting matters?
What is a family dispute resolution (FDR)?
There are a number of documents which are required to be provided to parties participating in family dispute resolutions. Click here to view these documents.
Can you provide me with a Section 60I Certificate?
Penny is accredited to issue Section 60 I Certificates. Click here to view this Certificate. The Court considers these Certificates to decide whether or not to refer the parties back for further family dispute resolution, and whether or not to make a cost order against either or both parties. The Certificate will show whether or not the parties made a genuine effort to resolve their disputes through family dispute resolution.
In parenting matters involving children, if one party does not agree to participate in a family dispute resolution, Penny is accredited to invite the other party to the family dispute resolution. If the other party refuses to attend the family dispute resolution after Penny makes two contacts with the other party, she can issue a Section 60 I Certificate.
There are some circumstances where Penny may decide that it is inappropriate to invite a party to family dispute resolution. This is usually in cases involving domestic violence and power imbalances. The circumstances which Penny must take into account in these cases, are set out in sub regulation 25(2). Click here to view this sub regulation.
Do I have to have a lawyer present at the mediation?
If we reach an agreement, is this agreement binding at law?
How much will the mediation cost and how can I engage the services of Accord Mediation?
How do I book a mediation?
To book a mediation, please click here and make an appointment request via the booking form on the calendar page. Once you have chosen a date when Penny and all parties and lawyers are available, click on that date and time. You will then need to complete the details in the form which will appear after you have clicked on the available date and time marked in green. After you have completed the form, submit your appointment booking request. You will then receive an email confirming your request. Penny will then make contact with you to confirm and clarify the mediation details.