Mediation - Do I need to go?

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) or Mediation is now required in all parenting matters before Court proceedings are initiated.  This means that you must have at least tried or been invited to participate in Mediation.  If the Mediation does not occur a Section 60I Certificate will be given to you which must be handed to your family lawyer and be used to file a Court Application.  If you have tried Mediation and it was unsuccessful make certain you ask for a signed Section 60I Certificate.  There are exceptions to the necessity for Mediation such as any of the following:

  • If one person will not go.
  • If the case is an urgent one, for example where a child has not been returned by one parent or extended family member.
  • Where the location of the other parent is unknown and an Order (called a Location Order) is required, speak with Duane Portway of Duane Portway Family Law about Location Orders.
  • If there are allegations of some form of abuse be it sexual abuse or physical abuse of a child or parent;
Mediation is confidential and the information disclosed during such an event is therefore unable to be brought up at Court later on.  There are a few exceptions to this including if there is a risk of harm to any person (or child) or property of any person involved.  Speak with Duane Portway of Duane Portway Family Law about Mediation.

There are several ways to Mediate.  

  1. For Victoria Legal Aid clientele, you will attend with your lawyer and complete an Application.  If successful your fees for the Mediation (mediator) and attendance with your lawyer will be covered.  You former partner will also attend with or without their legal representative to try and resolve the issue in dispute (usually a parenting issue).
  2. You may of your own accord engage, at your cost, a government funded organisation (where your lawyer is not involved) such as the Family Relationships Centre.  If an agreement is reached you should then discuss the implementation of that, and if necessary the drafting and making of that agreement into a Court Order with Duane Portway of Duane Portway Family Law.
  3. If you are unlikely to qualify for VLA funding a private Mediation can be organised where you and your former partner share the cost of the Mediator and you each pay for your lawyer to attend with you to try and resolve the matter.  This can be achieved in both property and parenting disputes depending upon the complexity of the issues.