At DA Mediation in Brisbane, Deborah works closely with clients to ensure that their case receives the best attention. What is the difference between mediation and family dispute resolution? Mediation is a type of family dispute resolution. Family dispute resolution is the name used in the Family Law Act for services such as mediation and conciliation that help separating couples resolve their parenting and property disputes. Why mediate in family law issues? Mediation can give a separating couple the opportunity to agree about property or parenting issues with less financial cost and emotional stress than going to court. It is desirable to resolve matters as quickly as possible to minimise the impact of ongoing conflict upon the children. For parenting issues, mediation is now a compulsory step before parties can file an application with the court to resolve your dispute. The following are some benefits of mediation: Mediation is less stressful for all parties. Mediation is much quicker than going to court. Mediations can be settled in a day, while disputes can take years to resolve in the court system. Mediation is far less costly. Mediation is flexible and can be conducted at any time during the negotiation of your dispute. The mediation process has a very high success rate of 85 per cent. In mediation, the parties must agree on the outcome. In court or in arbitration, the decision is imposed on you. The collaborative and less conflicting approach of mediation increases the parties’ chances of having a more agreeable and amicable relationship in the future, particularly when co-parenting is required. You have more control over the process with mediation. When should I consider mediation? Mediation can be considered at any time throughout the negotiation of your dispute. Whether you are in the early stages of your negotiations, or have already commenced court proceedings, the benefits of mediation as a dispute resolution method should be considered. The earlier you consider mediation, the more likely you are to succeed in resolving your dispute at a reduced financial cost. By resolving your dispute quickly, you are also likely to reduce the emotional impact on everyone involved, including your children. If you and your ex-partner can’t agree on some issues through discussions together, or through negotiations through your lawyers, mediation should be considered as the next step. In parenting disputes, parties must attempt to undergo mediation before going to court. What does the mediator do? The mediator’s role is to negotiate an outcome that is satisfactory to both parties. Although many mediators are lawyers and use their legal knowledge to guide discussions, the mediator does not provide legal advice. To become a nationally accredited mediator, mediators must undergo intensive training. Deborah Awyzio is an accredited family law specialist who has undergone this training. Do I need to have a family lawyer to mediate? No. You do not need to have a lawyer with you to mediate. However, many parties are already working with a family lawyer and like to have the security and guidance of their lawyer to provide legal advice during the negotiations. If you decide to have your lawyer present, you will pay them separately for their time. There is also ample opportunity in mediation for you to telephone your lawyer should you want some legal advice. Are my children involved in the mediation? No. In most circumstances, children are not involved in the mediation. If the issues are relating to parenting, children may be spoken to by a family report writer or psychologist, and their professional opinions may provide some guidance during the mediation. Where is the mediation held? Mediations with Deborah Awyzio can be held in her newly refurbished private mediation rooms in North Quay Brisbane. These are comfortable rooms set up especially for mediation and there are no additional room hire costs. If these rooms are not convenient, other arrangements can be made. Do I have to be in the same room as my ex-partner? No. To mediate, you do not have to be in the same room as your ex-partner. If relationships are strained, it is often better to mediate using the shuttle mediation method rather than a joint mediation method. Deborah will help you identify the best method for your situation. What if I can’t physically attend the mediation? Although mediations are preferred in person, mediations can also be held via phone or Skype. How long does mediation take? Mediation generally takes one full day, starting at 9am and finishing at around 5.00pm. Of course, some mediations finish before 5.00pm and if a resolution is close, some extend past 5.00pm. What does mediation cost? Deborah Awyzio Mediations offers a fixed fee mediation package of $3,300 (including GST). See costs for all inclusions. Many parties agree to divide the costs of mediation and pay equally. What can I do to prepare? The following are some key points that will help you prepare for mediation. Think about the main issue and what is important to you. Be open-minded and approach the process in a positive and conciliatory way. Be as open as possible in sharing information to enable meaningful discussions to take place. Do not be adversarial, aggressive or confrontational. Educate yourself on your financial situation and legal entitlements. Brainstorm some likely scenarios and their consequences both emotionally and financially. Think about some compromises you are willing to make and be clear on your objectives. Provide Deborah with as much information as possible so she understands the issues and difficulties. Block out the whole day for mediation. If you need to collect children or have commitments, ensure you make other arrangements. Complete the checklist and schedule provided by Deborah. Is what we agree legally binding? If you reach an agreement on the day of mediation, you will sign an agreement which documents the terms of the settlement in broad terms. Your lawyer will then use this document to prepare the legal documents necessary – a parenting plan, a consent order or a financial agreement – to make your agreement legally binding. What if the mediation does not work and we don’t agree? If you cannot come to an agreement during mediation, you can continue to negotiate settlement through your lawyers. Deborah can provide a section 60I certificate in parenting disputes. Talk to your lawyer about the next steps. Can you provide a S60I certificate? Yes. After every mediation on parenting issues, Deborah will issue a Section 60I Certificate. If you can’t agree in mediation, this certificate tells the court that you have attempted to resolve your dispute prior to commencing court proceedings. This is a requirement if you decide to take your dispute to court. Does Deborah mediate cases outside of Brisbane? Yes. Deborah will travel to locations outside of Brisbane such as the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba. Additional cost will depend on location and room availability.