Why the Family Mediation Process Works

It is traumatic when a close relationship breaks down, even more so when you and your ex-partner struggle to agree on issues such as custody and property rights. 

Today, we will show you how guidance from our expert family mediators will help you resolve disputes and find amicable solutions through mediation rather than going straight to court. 

You will understand that litigation is lengthy and expensive and only prolongs the trauma of separation, for you and the children, and that it should be avoided. 

You will know that calling us at Rose Lawyers for a free consultation is your first step to finding solutions for any family disputes.

Here’s why family mediation works:

1. The mediation process equips you with all the facts 

When a couple decides to separate, it is important to reach agreements between each other quickly. This may not be possible in all matters, but certain issues can and should be addressed straight away, such as custody and property rights.

Family mediation will help you make the right decisions about child custody arrangements, property rights and other difficult issues, set the process in motion and give things a sense of moving forward, quickly.

A note on divorce
Both you and your ex-partner have to agree on the exact date of separation as a divorce is only granted after 12 months of separation. A disagreement in this regard can also affect any property settlements and the value of the assets and liabilities. 

tip Tip: Sign an agreement confirming your date of separation
Both of you should sign a document confirming the date you separated. An email or text message between you that mentions the date is also considered proof.

Questions we can help you with now include:

  • How does spousal maintenance work? 
  • Which party remains in the family home after separation?
  • How will you be supported?
  • How will the monthly bills be divided?
  • What happens to joint bank accounts?
  • What do you do if your spouse is violent?


2. The mediation process puts the children’s well-being first 

Separation is distressing for children. Their fluctuating emotions often mirror those of their parents, and they tend to blame themselves for the break-up. Parents should talk to their children openly when they decide to separate, especially regarding interim living arrangements. 

Children first
We realise the importance of children retaining a healthy relationship with both parents, and we focus on helping to secure this bond. Every family is different, and we look at their specific needs and requirements to ensure the best parenting solution for everyone. 

Rose Lawyers treat family law issues concerning children with great consideration and put their well-being first at all times.

tip Tip: Draw up a parenting agreement
During separation, you can draw up a parenting agreement immediately, which helps to formalise responsibilities concerning the children. It also sets out child support payment details. Although not legally binding, it can serve as the basis of a legal Parenting Order should parties be unable to reach an agreement during divorce proceedings down the line.

Questions we can help you with now include:

  • Who do the children stay with now?
  • How do you manage financial child support issues?
  • Who is responsible for the day-to-day decision-making?
  • Who is the primary caretaker?
  • How does custody work?
  • What if a parent moves to a different state or leaves the country?
  • How do you reach an agreement regarding parenting plans? 
  • What about a Consent Order?


3. The mediation process helps divide assets and liabilities amicably 

It is difficult to make clear-headed decisions about dividing assets and liabilities during separation. 

Australia’s Family Law Act has stipulations in place regarding the division of marital assets, and our expert guidance will ensure we reach the best decision for everyone.

About de facto relationships
Whether you were married or was part of a de facto relationship before you decided to separate, the law regarding property settlement in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) or the Family Court Act (WA) is the same. However, there are certain criteria to consider regarding de facto relationships.

tip Tip: Get expert advice fast
We can guide you through the property settlement process, and prepare your documents and financial agreements to help finalise matters quickly so that you can move on.

Questions we can help you with now include:

  • What if you want to sell your property or need to transfer it to your ex-partner?
  • How will superannuation funds be divided?
  • Are your personal trust shares safe?
  • What happens to your private bank accounts and any other assets?
  • What are your rights in a de facto relationship?


4. The mediation process helps prepare you for your divorce proceedings 

The global divorce rate is expected to spike due to relationship stress caused by the Covid-19 lockdown. Australia is no exception. This is according to clinical psychologist and Relationships Australia’s NSW chief executive Elisabeth Shaw who says it is especially inequities around managing the home during this time that causes strain. 

Get your house in order
Regardless of the cause of the relationship breakdown, during the 12 months preceding the final annulment of your marriage, it is a good idea to tend to all matters regarding the property, spousal and child support.

tip Tip: Get your documents up to date
Ensure all your documentation are up to date and in order. These include your will, mortgage documents, tenanted investment properties and copies of your prenuptial agreement. Also, tie up any other loose ends that could hinder or delay the process. 

Rose Lawyers can help you identify and resolve issues as well as advise you on and prepare your divorce application.

Questions we can help you with now include:

  • Can you still sign a binding agreement after your de facto relationship ended?
  • What if your children don’t want to visit or stay with their other parent?
  • How do you obtain a Family Violence Order (FVO) or Personal Protection Order (PPO)?
  • What are the documents you have to prepare to ensure your divorce isn’t delayed?

Rose Lawyers have been family mediation experts since 1977, and we are here to help you. If you are separating and need guidance with unresolved disputes, our free consultation is your first step to reaching an amicable agreement and set you on the road of a new future.