Article written by Nardine Collier
Family Lawyer Cairns & Alice Springs
If it is about property, we start by looking at what property there is, and whether parties agree on values. Before a mediation, each party will be required to provide the other with financial information such as bank statements, superannuation statements, etc; and houses and the like will need to be valued.
Mediation is a great process which has a very high success rate. It allows you to ‘talk’ to each other in a safe environment, in a controlled and respectful way. One of the rules of mediation will be that you talk respectfully to the other person, there is no shouting or put downs, and no interruptions when the other is talking. I see it all the time – people have not been able to resolve a dispute because they just haven’t been able to talk about it. Sometimes that is all it takes, the ability to talk, be heard, and have the other person try and understand where you are coming from.
Any agreement you reach yourselves will be fair better than an order imposed on you by the court. It is very rare for someone to come out a court proceeding with everything they wanted, and the costs are high, financially and emotionally. The best thing you can do for yourself, your family, your children – is to try and resolve this dispute, reach an agreement about family law matters, and move on with life.
It is my opinion that just about any dispute is capable of resolution and you have nothing to lose by attempting mediation. Even if you don’t manage to settle entirely, there is always something positive that is achieved.