Our Family Mediation Services Brisbane offer Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution to parties who need assistance to resolve their child custody and property settlement disputes and want to avoid the financial and emotional costs of litigation.
Courtney Barton is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with over ten years experience in family law, negotiations, mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
Choose Barton Family Mediation to resolve your family law dispute without going to Court. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain. We are based in Brisbane.
Why should I Mediate with Family Mediation Services Brisbane?
Getting divorced in Australia is only one section of a big legal puzzle. Other pieces include property settlement, parenting agreements, child support and spousal maintenance.
Each piece on its own can become drawn out and expensive, financially and emotionally.
The family and federal circuit court system is currently experiencing extreme delays.
Financial or parenting applications filed today in the Brisbane Registry are unlikely to receive a final outcome for at least 2 years. It is almost impossible to have your matter heard by a judge on an urgent interim basis, except for the most urgent parenting or financial matters.
The inability of the family courts to provide timely access to justice is causing people to give up hope and settle for orders that are not in their interests or the interests of their children. Resourcing of the family law system is in a state of crisis.
Part of the problem is that many matters before the family law courts do not belong there. These matters will settle well prior to a final hearing but not prior to spending many months or years in litigation, at a high financial and emotional cost.
The Family courts system is no longer being treated as a last resort.
What is mediation?
Mediation is where an independent, neutral third party helps the parties to negotiate an agreement about the issues in conflict.
What is the role of the family Mediator?
A mediator is a neutral party. the Mediator’s job is to assist each of you in the negotiation process by meeting with both of you, identifying the issues, the common ground and then exploring those issues.
How does our family mediation service work?
At the mediation, you will each meet at the same location or sometimes you may be separated into different rooms. More recently we have been doing most of our mediations by zoom, in which case it is more common for the parties to remain separate for the entirety of the mediation process. Over the course of the day, the mediator will speak to each of you and your solicitor (if present) about your respective positions and interests. Where invited to do so, the Mediator may express a view based on their experience and this may include reality testing your position at times in terms of your prospects of success if litigation is necessary at a later stage. However, the mediator remains at all times independent. Their role is to assist each of you communicate more effectively and to negotiate a compromise that is of each party’s choosing.
The goal is to end the day with a compromise agreement that you each can live with that resolves all or some of the issues in dispute.
Is Mediation compulsory?
Whilst some matters need to be litigated in the family courts because of the nature of the intractable dispute, most matters are amiable to alternate dispute resolution through a process called mediation.
In a parenting matter, mediation is a prerequisite before a court application can be filed (except where certain exceptions apply). Mediation is also highly recommended in property cases and if no mediation occurs, you must substantiate what other genuine steps you have taken to settle the matter, prior to the commencement of court proceedings.
Click below to read about the pre-action procedures for parenting cases and property settlement cases and the limits exceptions when mediation is not compulsory before filing a court application:
In both parenting and property matters (except where inappropriate) the parties are required to attempt to settle their issues through mediation, prior to the matter being set down for Trial.
You can make life easier by participating in a mediation, without going to Court.
Why mediate? In 9/10 cases, Mediation is the best and most appropriate way to resolve your family law issues quickly and cost effectively.
What if we reach an agreement at mediation?
The agreement, in a parenting matter, when signed becomes a Parenting Plan.
If you have reached an agreement with your former partner at the mediation and you seek to make your (property settlement or parenting) agreement legally binding, you will need to seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer in order to have you agreement made into a Consent Order, which can then be rubber stamped by the court and it then becomes legally binding.
The benefits of Family Mediation Services Brisbane
Why mediate? Well, whilst it is normal to want your day in court, there are many good reasons to give mediation a go, even if a resolution seems unlikely, if only to narrow the issues in dispute:
Mediation is private and confidential
Why Mediate? Mediation is confidential, meaning you can feel comfortable that everything discussed in the mediation remains confidential and cannot be discussed with other people or used against you in court, if an agreement is not reached.
Mediation resolves your issues much quicker than through the family law courts
Why mediate? The delays of the family court system are untenable at present, with some matters taking 3 years before reaching a trial stage.
Mediation Saves money
Court is expensive.
It costs between $8,000 and $10,000 just up to and including your first court date and court costs can end up escalating above $100,000 by the time your matter reaches a trial.
Successful mediations either narrow the issues and therefore the time spent in court or a mediation can eliminate the need for court completely. This money can be better spent on your children or your post separation re-establishment expenses.
We offer fixed fees for all Barton Family Mediation Services Brisbane.
Courtney’s Mediation Fees and process is set out in the following brochure: Barton family mediation Brochure.
Mediation ensures a mutually beneficial, certain and predictable resolution
No one ever ‘wins’ in the family court system. There are however many losers, due to the financial and emotional costs associated with going to court. Further, what you believe is fair and what a court will order are usually not the same. The outcome is handed to you by a third party, not chosen by you or the other party and often parties walk away with an outcome they are not happy with.
Mediation on the other hand allows parties to control the outcome and find a win/win solution. A successful mediation will result in an agreement that everyone can live and an outcome you have control over.
By choosing mediation you eliminate the uncertainty of a trial outcome.
Importantly, trials can also be appealed which takes time, money and further uncertainty in the outcome of your case. Mediated agreements are much more difficult to challenge and overturn.
Furthermore, if both parties are happy with the result and feel they had control over the decision, it becomes easier to accept and the agreement is more likely to be followed by the parties. This decreases the risk of further issues arising down the track.
Mediation preserves the co-parenting relationship
When two parties have control over the outcome, rather than having the decision dictated to them by a judge, they remain more respectful to each other throughout the process. In court, parties will hear family lawyers say negative things about them which causes stress to both parties and it is likely to have a negative impact on the co-parenting relationship. Mediation allows the co-parenting relationship to remain in tact and reduces the emotional and psychological stress on the parties of the separation process.
Mediation helps to protect children from exposure to conflict
Where conflict is unresolved and court proceedings are commenced, the conflict between the parties usually worsens and the children are often exposed to this. Furthermore, whilst the Court may hand you a resolution this does not mean that the underlying issues which caused the conflict have been resolved. Where children are exposed to ongoing conflict between their parents this can have a lasting negative impact on their mental health and wellbeing and impact on their ability to form healthy relationships in future. These children who see their parents fighting are often fighting a war in their own mind to try and reconcile why one parent (one half of them) does not like the other parent (the other half of them). Mediation enables separating parents to keep their children out of the conflict and minimises the impact of the separation upon them.
Why Mediate? – it is a win win solution
Do you want to have control over your decision? Do you want a quicker, less costly outcome that you choose and have ownership of?
Mediation is the way to go.
If you are wanting more information about the process of mediation or to initiate the process and book your mediation intake appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
For more information about our Brisbane Family Law Mediator, click the link to read our mediation brochure: Barton Family Mediation
What are the costs of your Brisbane family mediation services?
Court is expensive. It costs between $8,000 and $10,000 just up to and including your first court date and court costs can end up escalating above $100,000 by the time your matter reaches a trial.
No one ever ‘wins’ in the family court system. There are however many losers, due to the financial and emotional costs associated with going to court. Further, what you believe you believe is fair and what a court will order are not always one and the same. The outcome is handed to you by a third party and often parties walk away with an outcome that neither of them are happy with.
A successful mediation will result in an agreement that everyone can live with and an outcome that you have control over.
By choosing Mediation over court you have so much to gain and nothing to lose.
We offer fixed fees for all Barton Family Mediation Services Brisbane.
Courtney’s Mediation Fees are set out in the following brochure: Barton Family Mediation
What is the process for mediation in parenting disputes?
Parenting disputes are often the most emotively charged and involve difficult issues, but they are the area which is most important to address as quickly as possible after separation. When children are involved in parental conflict, this can have significant negative impacts on your children, physically and psychologically. The quicker you resolve matters relating to your children’s living arrangements and work towards a cooperative post separation parenting relationship with your former partner, the better for all involved, particularly the children.
In children’s matters there is a procedure we are required to follow with respect to mediation, as set out in the Family Law Act and Regulations, the National Mediation Standards and the Queensland Law Society Rules.
This process must be complied with in all mediations we conduct.
The process is as follows:
- An intake appointment is done with the inviting party;
- If Mediation is assessed as appropriate, an invitation is sent to the other party to attend mediation in writing (by post/email) and by telephone;
- The invitation is followed up by a telephone call within the next few days;
- If the invitation to attend mediation is refused, a section 60I certificate may be issued where appropriate as guided by the Family Law Act and Regulations;
- If the invitation is accepted a mediation is arranged. Mediation can be arranged by the parties or their lawyers at a neutral venue such as the Queensland Law Society or North Brisbane Mediation Rooms at the cost of the parties.
Meet your Conflict Resolution Specialist
Courtney Barton is a Brisbane based Nationally Accredited Mediator, Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and owner of Barton Family Lawyers. Contact the Brisbane Family Mediator to schedule your mediation in for reasonable fixed fees.
Our Family Mediation Services Brisbane can be arranged at a location of your convenience. Contact us for more details.
With over 10 years of experience as a family lawyer and conflict resolution specialist, Courtney will help you to resolve your parenting and property settlement dispute in a quick and cost effective manner, thereby protecting you from the harmful emotional and financial impacts of litigation.
Courtney’s number one piece of advice to parties going through separation is to be proactive, not reactive in dealing with family law issues following separation.
Courtney says “The biggest mistake I see being made is that people sometimes wait for months and even years following separation to seek family law advice and to engage in dispute resolution and they often do so after a climactic event which has caused them emotional or financial stress.”
Contact Courtney now and book your mediation intake appointment for your property settlement or parenting dispute and we will arrange an invitation to be sent to the other party within twenty-four (24) hours of your appointment. By choosing Mediation over court you have so much to gain and nothing to lose. You will be given an invaluable opportunity to reach an agreement that you have control over, rather than one that is imposed upon you, and you will avoid the emotional, financial and time costs, that litigation entails.