Proper preparation in the lead up to a mediation can often be the key to a successful resolution.
It is highly recommended that you consider securing independent financial and accounting advice for property matters. Most lawyers will have an existing relationship with such experts who they can readily refer you to as part of this preparation. Consideration should also be given to obtaining advice from an experienced child and family counsellor for children’s matters, to reality-test your proposals.
How you present and communicate your proposals, and how they might be received by the other party, should be given significant thought. All too often people think they need to start beyond their best outcome to demonstrate as the day progresses that they have been accommodating. This can sometimes impact on the progress of the mediation as it simply invites the other side to start at the opposite end also.
If all parties are properly prepared and their legal advisors confer prior, all issues that require resolution can be identified, removing the chance of any surprises on the day.
Some examples of commonly occurring questions raised in children’s matters include:
- When are school holidays and student free days?
- When do the different sports start or stop, and when is training?
- What are all the expenses for the children, and how are they going to be managed?
- What happens on a changeover day if one child is sick? and
- What does my proposal actually look like on paper and how will it work?
Careful reflection and planning prior to the day can greatly assist negotiations.
Some examples of issues commonly raised in financial matters include:
- Do I have finance pre-approved if my proposal is accepted, and how much time should I allow for the bank to refinance?
- How much can I borrow, and can I really afford that?
- Would my super fund approve a splitting order to the other party for that amount?
- Is our self-managed super fund up to date and is it compliant?
- Am I up for any tax or other costs arising out of the agreement, and if so when are they to be paid? and
- What other options do I have for a settlement?
This publication has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms and should be viewed as broad guidance only. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render advice. No one should rely on the information contained in this publication without first obtaining professional advice relevant to their own specific situation.