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Compulsory mediation in family law

Compulsory mediation in family law

Posted On: 4 April

Family Mediation Services
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Family Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution is compulsory for a reason. It is the best chance the children will have for their parents to agree on parenting arrangements that are in their best interests.

Parenting dispute example [case study]

Our principal family lawyer, Rebecca Parry, recently mediated a parenting dispute between a mother and father about one child who was under the age of 10 years. Neither parent attended the mediation with legal representatives, but both indicated at the commencement of the process, they were participating “because it’s all about our boy”.

Needless to say, that was not the case and the mediation was concluded after two (2) hours and after only one proposal. Why?

Answer: because only one of the parents was there to make a ‘genuine attempt’ to resolve the parenting dispute. The other was ‘going through the motions’ to obtain the requisite s60I certificate.

  • Was the dispute intractable?
  • Was there family violence?
  • Was one parent being unreasonable with their proposal?

Answers: No; Not sufficient to withdraw from mediation; and no, not based on the facts presented.

The certificates were issued; however, the grounds were different. The parent who ‘walked out’ did not make a genuine effort to mediate.

What is the outcome for the child?

Answer: One parent is likely to have already commenced litigation, one would assume seeking orders that are ‘polar opposite’ to the one and only parenting proposal made.

The difficulties with that course, are:

  • The delay the applicant will experience in having the matter heard for the first time;
  • A longer period of ‘no time’ between the child and one of his parents will continue; and
  • The high likelihood that the Court will order something similar to the proposal made.

Find out more about our Mediation Services

Contact Parry Coates Family Law for more information about our mediation and/or family dispute resolutions services. We have nationally accredited mediators available for bookings throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales.

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