What does Weekend Mediation cost?
To be Ready the cost is $660 per person and for that fee, your mediator will:
- comprehensively understand your intake form and your asset & liability statement
- meet with you for a one hour intake session to discuss your understanding of mediation
- discuss what you hope to achieve in mediation
- check that mediation is the best option for you
To be Set the cost is $440 per person plus the cost of title and company searches and any valuations. For that fee, your mediator will, as necessary, organise:
- title searches
- company searches
- property valuations
- business valuations
- superannuation valuations
To Go, the cost is $880 per person. For that fee, you and your partner will take part in a mediation meeting for up to 2.5 hours.
- Your will leave the mediation meeting with a written record of your agreement
- A week after your mediation, you will be given draft Court documents to take to a lawyer for independent advice, which is encouraged. Or you may opt out of obtaining legal advice.
- The cost of any extra meeting is also $880, because sometimes one meeting is not enough.
More about Weekend Mediations and How it Saves Legal Costs
The aim of Weekend Mediations is to help reduce the amount of time you need to take off work during the week, to minimise the time and cost of gathering financial information, and to give you the time, place and expert support needed to reach agreements you can live with.
The point of mediation is to reach agreements. As your mediator, Marguerite is there to help you have a conversation with your partner. She is not a decision maker. She is neutral or impartial. Marguerite will make sure that you each have an opportunity to speak and to listen, she will help to manage the conflict in your conversations, and will guide your communication so that it is effective. As a lawyer-mediator, Marguerite will provide legal information about such things as what you can cover in legal agreements, and whether any disagreement is something the law has an answer for. She cannot give legal advice, but can refer you to a lawyer on the Weekend Mediation panel, or you may see your own lawyer if you want advice.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation allows you to speak to each other directly rather than through your lawyers. This saves time and money. Mediation allows you to address the things that matter to you, not just those things that the legal system says are important. The agreements you make are your own agreements, which feels much better than being on the sidelines of the negotiation.
Do I need my own lawyer?
You do not need your own lawyer in the Family Law System. Most people feel more assured when they have some legal advice before, during or after a mediation, but that is your own choice. Marguerite will provide you with draft Consent Order documents so you can file them in Court with or without legal advice. Your mediator can work with you both because she is neutral or impartial, and not acting as a lawyer. Your mediator facilitates agreements that will fit within the Family Law framework. She is using her knowledge of Family Law and the Family Law system to help you get to agreements that will work. Your own lawyer will be able to give you reassuring legal advice. Their job is to advise you independently of your spouse. Most people instruct a lawyer to check and file their legal documents. If you would like to be referred to a lawyer on the Weekend Mediation panel, please ask for the list. If for any reason you do not instruct a lawyer, there is a great deal of information on the Family Court website to assist youwww.fca.gov.au
Cost-Savings in Weekend Mediation
Weekend Mediation is partly about efficiency in gathering the financial information you need for legal agreements. This saves money. Marguerite will create a common statement of assets and liabilities, do one set of land and company searches, and organises joint property and superannuation valuations if needed. Normally you would each have to pay your own lawyer to do searches, collect the financial information and agree on (and often argue about) assets and valuations that are going to be included in your official documents. As a couple, you would be paying twice for the same searches and data collection. Without mediation, you would be paying both lawyers to talk to each other and to do the work that can be done within Weekend Mediation. In this way, you will save you thousands (yes, really) of dollars in legal costs.
All your discussions in mediation are in person. In legal negotiations, a lot of money is spent on letters and phone calls between lawyers, which then have to be discussed and reported to the clients, and back again to the other lawyer and client. Sometimes things go wrong in the communication and there are misunderstandings, which cause delay, expense and conflict. Even today, you are nearly always paying your lawyer by the hour for that work. Billing by the hour does not encourage efficiency. Mediation is much more efficient, the price is fixed, and you are much more in control of the conversation and therefore the cost.