At Collective Family Law Group we offer clients a range of processes to help our clients resolve their family law matters, whether the matter is regarding children or finances. These include using the court, negotiation, dispute resolution, and mediation.

Mediation is a good way to help the parties investigate options for moving forward in any kind of family dispute.

For those of you who are embarking on family law mediation, We thought that we would share some helpful tips.

1. Remember the reason you are at mediation: to reach a solution

You want to move on with your life, that is why you are prepared to mediate. There is no point mediating if you are not committed to coming to a resolution. The parties need to be as open-minded as possible. There may be a different way from what you think that you can get what you want.

2. Take a break

Emotions can run very high in a mediation session, it can be very hard work. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break. Go and get some fresh air or have a coffee. Usually, mediations will run over a few hours or a full day, so there is time to have a breather.

This can help you to make good decisions and see things clearly. Take the time to think before you react, and keep an eye on what you want to achieve.

3. Be aware of your best and worst alternatives to negotiating a solution in mediation

It may help to have a clear idea before you enter mediation of what sort of solution you might be prepared to accept, but it also helps to understand what your other options are if mediation is not successful. You need to be able to evaluate the costs both emotionally and financially when you are at the mediation.

4. Take legal advice

Ideally, your legal advisors will be with you during the mediation but not always as you may have gone straight to a mediator. If you have your solicitor with you listen to your advisors, that is what you are paying them for. If you do not have your solicitor with you during the mediation, seek advice from your solicitor before you commit to the outcome. Remember that the mediator can give legal information but not legal advice, the mediator will be impartial and will not be able to advise you as to what you should do or what is best for you.

5. You are in control.

Remember that while you are at the mediation stage of the legal process, you are still in control of the situation. If you progress further down the Court path the Court may decide on your situation and then the choices are taken away from you.

There is no question that compared to mediation, going to court and asking a judge to make a decision will be expensive and the result may be unpredictable; the question is whether, compared to the solution on offer, these risks are worth taking for you.

For more information, phone our office on (07) 5574 0971