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  • Writer's pictureTemara Willis

Mediation post the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court merger.

Mediation has increased in popularity over the past decade, particularly in family law matters.

With the recent changes to the Family Court in September this year, this is even more evident. On 1 September 2021, the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court merged and became one Court. This merger was designed to create a single-entry point, hoping to help reduce delays and backlogs in the family law courts by driving a faster, cheaper, and more consistent resolution.

However, a significant change is the increased scope of matters that need to be mediated before a party can apply for an order under the Family Law Act.

Parents were always required to attempt mediation before applying to the Court regarding parenting matters (unless an exemption was involved). The family mediator issued a section 60i Certificate showing that parties had attempted or failed to attempt to mediate.

However, applications for property settlement orders did not require an attempt to mediate before issuing an application in the Federal Court. With this new system, it will be a requirement to attempt to resolve matters by agreement or mediation before an application for a financial, property or parenting matter will be heard by the Court.

As a mediator, I believe this is a great initiative. You might be thinking, well, you have to say that - you are selling your wares. However, I promise you this is not the case. I am busy, and while it is a great privilege to help more clients move forward, it is based genuinely on the fact that I see it work.

Not only do you save on costs significantly, but you remain in control. A good lawyer (and I promise there are many out there) will advise you that mediation is a good option. You maintain the power, money in your pocket and have a better chance of resolving the matters in a way conducive to preserving some future relationship with the other person.

However, mediation isn't a magic wand. Both parties need to be open to the process and amendable to developing mutually beneficial solutions and moving forward.

While not all issues can be mediated, it is a great tool to work through all resolvable matters that can save you time and money - for example, how you plan to agree on the value of your assets or how you will ensure full disclosure.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if Adelaide Family Mediation can assist. You can call us today on 0410928191 or check out our website

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