The cost of mediation depends upon where you’re currently at in resolving your family law dispute and the type of dispute.
There are a number of mediation avenues for you to consider in resolving your family law dispute.
If your dispute relates to children or parenting, Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is compulsory, which means that people who wish to resolve disputes relevant to their children (parenting matters) are required to attend FDR and make a genuine effort to resolve issues, before they progress through to litigation.
This is a type of mediation for helping to separate families to come to their own agreements with a predominant focus on parenting and children’s issues.
The cost of FDR depends on the provider and may be free for eligible people. Private providers set their own fees which can vary. Community-based family law services have a standard fee policy based on income levels and your capacity to pay.
Alternatively, you can choose what’s called a Private Mediation. Private mediation is facilitated by an experienced and accredited family law mediation. This type of mediation can effectively resolve all types of family law disputes ranging from the most simple to the most complex. The latter may relate to property settlements of which there may be substantial complexity deriving from multiple businesses, properties, trusts etc.
The cost of this type of mediation can be between $2,500 and $5,000 depending on the nature of the dispute or disputes.
Whilst the cost may seem high at first instance, what needs to be remembered is that a family lawyer will charge in the vicinity of $350 to $700 per hour. At Mediators Australia, all our mediators have experienced family lawyers as well. Their fee for a mediation needs to be considered in the context of this, including the significant amount of time they spend in the preparation of each matter.
Mediation is Significantly Cheaper than the Alternative
In the event that you choose not to resolve your family law dispute through mediation or other types of less-litigious ways, then the only other way is through litigation. Typically the cost of family law litigation will range from $35,000 up to $300,000 depending on the matter. Notwithstanding this, it is well documented that given the significant delays in getting your matter to court (up to 3 years) family law issues have a tendency to become more emotionally driven and more complex.
What If We Are in Dispute on Both Property & Parenting?
Generally speaking, it’s advisable not to attempt to resolve these very different types of disputes during one mediation. It’s preferable and much more advantageous to have these matters separated.