I am a nationally accredited Family Law mediator with over 30 years’ experience in the Family Court. I am a nationally accredited mediator with the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (AIFLAM). I assist parties to reach agreement in relation to parenting and property disputes without the need to go to Court saving time and money as well as minimising stress.
I as the mediator (or chair) assist you and the
person you are in dispute with
(with the assistance of your lawyers) to
negotiate a mutually satisfactory resolution
of your dispute without the need for court
Mediation offers a safe and secure environment in which to take negotiations to the next level by introducing a mediator who facilitates discussions to explore the issues and concerns of the parties and helps them to a identify options to resolve the dispute.
I have the advantage of hearing confidentially from both parties to understand whether parties might prepared to go in their negotiations to get the matter settled. I often see where parties have common interest in getting the matter settled which might never come out through a "party to party" negotiation, With this knowledge, I can guide the parties towards resolution without giving away their negotiation positions.
Two of the essential elements of mediation are neutrality and confidentiality of the process:
The confidence of the participants in the objectivity of the appointed mediator is essential to the prospects of success of the process itself.
An essential part of productive negotiations is the willingness and the capacities of parties to discuss and identify issues frankly, to make concessions and to compromise were appropriate. The prospect of them doing so would be seriously undermined if such concessions and proposals could subsequently be used in Court.
first step is an intake (or pre-mediation) session. Preferably a few weeks prior to the actual
I will meet with each party and their lawyer separately prior to the mediation ( zoom conferences are available). . These sessions are important as they assist me in understanding what each party considers important and why negotiations may not have been successful to date.
Parties can feel intimidated in a joint session because of the presence of the other party and/or their lawyer. The first-up separate intake session is a better way for me to get to know each party and what they seek out of the mediation.
It allows the parties to ask questions about the process itself. Each party may discuss matters with the mediator in the intake session which remain confidential from the other party and their lawyer.
the parties, their lawyers and the mediator conduct the mediation in joint
session with the parties having the opportunity of identifying issues,
exploring options and discussing settlement. The advantage of the joint
sessions is that the process is very transparent as everyone is there. Also
matters can be discussed immediately as they arise and it normally allows for a
greater exploration of issues. Parties also normally have breaks and separate
sessions to discuss matters with their lawyer alone and with their lawyer and
the mediator is part of this process.
I sometimes conduct mediation by separate sessions (sometimes referred to as shuttle mediation). These are normally conducted where there are allegations of family violence, intimidation or unequal bargaining power.
In all types of mediation, I will seek to have each party through their lawyers continue to make concessions from their position conditional on knowing that the other party will do the same.-In other words the mediation is a two-way street in which both parties contribute towards a resolution.
Often the matter simply proceeds through negotiation, by offer and counter-offer. In a non-confronting way, each of the parties is encouraged to come up with possible ways to resolve each issue. An agreement is pieced together like a jig-saw puzzle.
If agreement is reached the parties will be expected to sign either a Heads of Agreement document or in the case of pending court matters, final consent orders or other documents that make the mediation agreement binding.
Until that is done nothing said during the mediation conference is binding.
In some cases this cannot occur at the mediation conference due to the need to take further steps or sign further documents to make the mediated “agreement” binding.
charge fixed rates for “half day” or “full day” mediations and then an hourly
rate for matters that go past normal finishing times (usually 1PM or 5 PM). An
estimate of costs will be provided before commencing the mediation and be part
of the Cost Agreement signed by all parties.
A sample cost agreement can be downloaded from this website.