A separation can be incredibly stressful. Not only are you going through a lot emotionally, but you may also need to work through the division of your property.
If you require support to come to an arrangement about any property that you own, mediation is one of the pathways available to you. Where appropriate, opting for property mediation can be a cost-effective alternative to the court system. It provides a safe environment to find a workable solution for all people involved.
If you go to court to resolve disputes over property, this could result in months or even years of disruption to yourself and family. It may even damage your co-parenting relationship. The ongoing legal costs can quickly drain value from the very assets you’re fighting over!
How to have a successful property mediation
Our mediation team recommends the following tips for the best outcomes from any property mediation process:
1. Be flexible. Try to keep an open mindset about mediation and be ready to compromise. Remember, the mediation process isn’t about finding a winner and a loser. It’s about finding outcomes that work for everyone.
Flexibility is really important in mediation, especially if you’re interested in getting to a workable agreement as quickly as possible. It can also help you avoid the hidden costs (both emotional and financial) of moving to a long-drawn out legal process.
2. Advocate for yourself. We encourage you to be flexible, but also to be your own advocate. It’s important to understand your limits of what’s acceptable.
This means doing your homework on the situation. We’ve put together a great resource, A Fair Share, to help separating parties to negotiate a property settlement. It is also a good idea to seek legal advice on the range of acceptable outcomes. Organisations such as Legal Aid ACT or Legal Aid NSW can provide free support to help you make informed decisions.
3. Look at the practical outcomes for you and your family. If you’re a parent, your property arrangements are likely to be influenced by your parenting arrangements. This includes factors such as how much space you’ll need, proximity to schools and so on. You may not be able to reach a decision on your property without knowing what’s happening with the children.
We always encourage parents to aim for child-focused outcomes – that is, where the children are always at the centre of decision-making. With that in mind, make sure you’ve made key decisions around your children before you start working out property.
How can we help?
If you are going through a separation, our mediation team can support you with property and financial arrangements.
One of our independent, impartial mediators will assist parties to reduce conflict, negotiate outcomes and develop techniques to deal with future disputes. Please get in touch to find out more.