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Family and Child Mediation

When people separate, they often need to decide how they’ll have contact with their children or divide property. Sometimes, those decisions can turn into disputes. The Family Court prefers former partners to sort things out between themselves, and some people do that. But if that doesn’t work, mediation can help. Our Family and Child Mediation Service engages professionally qualified family mediators with plenty of experience in guiding the parties to an agreement. The Australian National Mediator Standards can be viewed here.

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[Click here for Parenting Orders – What you need to know]

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mediation?

Mediation is an alternative way of resolving disputes where the parties sit down together and, guided by mediators, negotiate a practical solution by consent to their issues. It gives everyone the opportunity to be heard, define issues, consider options, and settle on a solution that suits the parties. Mediation is guided by experienced and professionally and nationally accredited mediators. The mediators are impartial and don’t give any advice or make any decisions for the parties; they facilitate a conversation between the parties to assist them to focus on the best way forward.

If mediation ends in an agreement, the result is an agreement by consent that is written in the parties own words. 

How does mediation help settle property disputes?

Our family dispute  practitioners have many years of experience in mediating disputes over property and finances. It’s a good idea to get legal advice before trying to reach a property settlement – that way, you’ll go into a mediation aware of your options and your legal rights and responsibilities so you can make informed decisions.

How does mediation help settle parenting disputes?

Separation between the parties may end a relationship, but your relationship with your children continues – just in a different form. Our family dispute practitioners place a lot of emphasis on helping parents to reach an agreement that’s in the best interests of their children. The family dispute practitioners also explain “equal shared parental responsibility” which means that both parents have an equal role in making decisions about the important issues that affect their children, like their education, health care, and emotional wellbeing. They also discuss how equal shared parental responsibility can work in the party’s specific case, and help the parties formulate the best possible parenting plan that’s unique to them as parents.

How much does family mediation cost?

A pre-mediation appointment costs $75 per party. Mediation costs vary depending on the type of dispute.

  • For property disputes, mediation costs $150 per party per appointment.
  • For parenting disputes, mediation costs $125 per party per appointment.
  • For property & parenting disputes combined, mediation costs $200 per party per appointment.

Next Steps

Once the parties have agreed to mediation, the mediation co-ordinator will book a separate pre-mediation interview for each party. This is an opportunity for each party to discuss their issues confidentially. It’s also a good time to ask any questions or raise any issues you’re unsure about. The mediator will explain the mediation process  so each party is fully prepared prior to the joint mediation session.

After the pre-mediation interview, the mediators will complete an assessment of suitability for mediation. If mediation proceeds, the mediation co-ordinator will book a joint mediation appointment for the parties to attend. The Citizens Advice Bureau uses a co-mediation model with two mediators to make sure the process is balanced and unbiased.

For more information about family and child mediation at CAB, contact us.

Informing Western Australia since 1963

Mission: To connect people with information and services so they can make independent and informed decisions.

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