Mediation Costs in General (Property Settlement and Parenting arrangements included)
by Randal Binnie, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner/Nationally Accredited Mediator
Before you decide whether the costs I refer to here are expensive or not, consider this – through mediation you may resolve issues in a half or full day mediation session or sessions at a cost of between $825.00 to $1650 for each party. Now consider the costs of applying to court –
- just for the preparation and first court date $6,000 to $10,000 EACH or more in legal fees, not to mention court fees.
- Add to this the delay in actually getting to court for the first day which is usually about two months and
getting to an actual trial say 12 months to 2 years later at a cost of many thousands of dollars depending upon the complexity of your matter.
- During that time you will be unable to move forward with your life with certainty and relationships will be damaged, both with children and the other parent and extended family.
So now consider mediation and family dispute resolution as a sensible option that will be positive in all respects, even if the mediation fails to resolve all of your differences.
Children’s Issues – Family Dispute Resolution
Parenting arrangements for children are often the most difficult of issues to resolve and they are arguably the very most import matters to address following separation. Property matters can wait but unless arrangements for your children are addressed quickly and sensibly your children may be affected adversely by the adult issues occurring around them. Many studies have established that conflict between parents harms children both psychologically and also physically.
Mediation provides participants with flexibility. The process can be designed to meet your needs including whether you have or don’t have your lawyer present during the mediation.
I also offer pre-mediation coaching as part of the mediation process. If you are attending a mediation with another provider I can help prepare you for that mediation through a coaching session. In that session I will explain:
- The mediators role
- Your role and responsibilities
- What mediation is and is not
- Provide you with several skills to assist you in the process.
During the process I will meet separately with both of you at various times so that I can explore settlement options with each of you. Having said that I have conducted mediations where the parties have stayed in the same room for the entire process.
With Lawyer Involvement
There are times when one or both of you need a lawyer to assist you. This can be for many reasons but often it is to prevent any power imbalance affecting one of the parties or one party just does not have the capacity to negotiate on their own behalf. Lawyers are engaged to advise and represent their client’s best interests and in mediation their assistance is invaluable to the process.
I welcome the involvement of lawyers and I am often engaged by lawyers to assist their clients reach agreement through the mediation process.
In children’s matters the procedure is as required by the Family Law Act Regulations as I have to comply with the requirements set out in the Regulations and Family Law Act when mediating parenting matters and also have to comply with the National Mediation Standards and Queensland Law Society rules in all mediations I conduct. The procedure is as follows:
- An intake session is undertaken with the inviting party by appointment either personally or by telephone, or video conferencing. The cost of the intake session is $220 inclusive of GST.
- If mediation is appropriate an invitation is then issued in writing (both by post and email where possible) the same day. (Invitation process cost is $265 inclusive of GST)
- The invitation is followed up by telephone within the next three days.
- If the invitation is refused a Section 60I Certificate may be issued at my discretion as guided by the Family Law Act and Regulations at a cost of $110 inclusive of GST.
- If the invitation is accepted the mediation is arranged. Mediation venues can be as arranged by the parties or their lawyers with venue costs being shared by the parties equally. We have mediation rooms available at our Springwood Office free of charge. Brisbane mediations and Gold Coast mediations can be arranged at the Queensland Law Society or other venue as agreed at the cost of the parties.
Simply make an appointment online or telephone.