Our expert Family Lawyers help our valued clients through relationship breakdown and divorce with clear legal advice and direct practical guidance.
If you have a tricky family law situation, or simply need advice about what to do next, our Family Law team can assist you and your family. Click here
Family Mediation Services
Paul Lewis, our Partner who leads our Family Law team, is a nationally accredited Mediator (NMAS) and an Accredited Specialist in Dispute Resolution through the NSW Law Society. We have ample rooms at Eakin McCaffery Cox to host mediations with up to 12 participants.
Paul has decades of experience as a practicing mediator since training and qualifying as an accredited community mediator with the Community Justice Program (Queensland) in 1993. He has successfully mediated a wide range of disputes as a Mediator providing mediation services through his law firm roles, and for 25 years as a Community Justice Centres (NSW) mediator.
15 years ago Paul expanded his service offering as a facilitative mediator to include an evaluative model of mediation in Family Law financial cases. His Agreement to Mediate (the document signed by participants before the start of a mediation) and supporting documents became the templates used by the NSW Law Society for the Family Law Settlement Service (FLSS) during the development of its pilot program in 2011.
In the evaluative mediation model, the participants are encouraged to ask questions and talk about their perspectives in order to create a better or new understanding of their separate and common experiences, the same as in a facilitative mediation. What is different, and what is valuable in a family law financial case, is that the mediator may, with the permission of the participants, introduce an evaluative component during the mediation if he/ she thinks it may help the participants build an agreement.
The role of the evaluative mediator may temper the professional views of each party’s legal advisors. The mediator’s independent viewpoint may be useful, not because the legal advisors engage in over-zealous advocacy but because the legal advisors are limited to hearing 100% of the story from their client and only about 20% of the story from their client’s spouse or ex-spouse.
Paul was an Independent Children’s Lawyer, on the NSW Legal Aid Panel of ICL’s for 8 years and has extensive experience in the mediation of parenting disputes. If parents are in Court and want to negotiate a resolution of the parenting arrangements without a Judge deciding the case, we can arrange a mediation in relation to the parenting matter.
We don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to family mediation or the mediation of other civil disputes. We like to take the time to understand the history of the relationships, and how and when the conflict grew, before we confirm arrangements for one or more mediation meetings. We arrange a separate preliminary conference in all mediations so that we may obtain an understanding of the history and what is important to people as they prepare for a good mediation.
Use of technology: We can use Family Property (by Smokeball) as an online platform to prepare for family mediation and to explore and record agreements that are made during mediation. We can also run online mediations for geographically remote and international clients or upon request.
Information about our fees for a half-day mediation, 1-day mediation and other design options is available on enquiry. Please ask for Anita.