Legally Assisted Mediation

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is generally conducted between the parties directly, and is facilitated by a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP).

If the issues for mediation are more complex, having lawyers present can assist in discussing the matters at hand in a legally informed way. This is known as Legally Assisted Mediation.

Legally Assisted Mediation enables parties to take advice from their lawyers, discuss matters and narrow any issues in dispute, all within the mediation process. This can be very beneficial if the parties intend to make any agreements into enforceable orders.

Legally Assisted Mediation requires both parties to have a lawyer present, generally at the problem solving and agreement phase of the mediation. The lawyers do not participate in the actual mediation session, it is the mediator’s role to manage and guide the process. The lawyer’s role is to provide legal advice in private session to their respective clients.

If the parties reach agreement, it may be possible for the lawyers to draft an agreement at the mediation session. Alternatively, for more complex agreements or agreements that will be filed with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) these can be drafted by the lawyers after the mediation.

Legally Assisted Mediation is more expensive because the parties will be responsible for the costs of their respective lawyers in addition to the cost of the mediation. It can however be cost effective if, with the assistance of the lawyers, the matter is settled at the mediation and future legal expenses are avoided.

The Mediation Team will discuss the options for Legally Assisted Mediation with you.

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