Who is Hawke Segal Mediation?
We are a boutique mediation firm that specialises in family and workplace mediation. Our offices are conveniently located at Edgecliff, five minutes from the Sydney CBD.
Who pays for the mediation?
Each person is responsible for paying their own fees unless otherwise arranged.
Does the mediator represent me?
As mediators we are neutral and impartial. That means that we do not take sides, we don’t determine who is right or wrong or make decisions for you.
In cases that involve children, as family dispute resolution practitioners we are bound by working toward outcomes that are in the best interests of the children.
How many sessions will I need?
Each case is different and it depends on the complexity and how many topics need to be discussed. It also depends on whether you want to discuss parenting matters, financial matters or both. In general, it takes people between one to three sessions to resolve matters.
What if the other person won’t attend the mediation?
Once you have requested mediation, we then contact the other person at least twice and once in writing to allow them a fair opportunity to consider whether they want to participate and to ask us any questions before they commit to the process.
Mediation is voluntary but for parenting matters, mediation has to be attempted before the matter can be filed in Court. If the other person does not want to participate we can issue you with a Section 60i certificate, which will allow you to file the matter in Court.
How will we make sure the agreements we make in mediation stay in place?
The agreements reached in mediation are goodwill agreements, this means they aren’t legally binding. If you both decide you would like to have the documents made legally binding you can do this by having them converted into Consent Orders which a lawyer can assist you with.
Can your notes be subpoenaed if the matter ends up in Court?
The mediation process is protected in the sense that what is discussed in mediation is inadmissible, that is it can’t be used in Court. So if any offers are made during mediation, these offers cannot be shown to the Court. As mediators we do not keep permanent client notes and generally we cannot be subpoenaed either.
If we go through mediation does that mean we don’t need a lawyer?
Mediation and legal advice often go hand in hand. We advise our clients to see a family law specialist before they come to the joint mediation session so they are equipped with specific advice relating to their case.
Your lawyer can help you understand your individual rights and responsibilities and determine your bottom line when negotiating and they can help you with the formal documentation and lodging of documents but they don’t need to come along to the mediation.
After your pre-mediation session, we will give you some questions that you might like to ask your lawyer and we can provide some quality recommendations if you need help finding the right family lawyer.
How do I know you will remain impartial and neutral?
We are bound by a set of professional ethics and standards and paramount to this is remaining impartial. At the end of the day, we pride ourselves on this commitment.
Will you give us advice about what’s best for our children?
We believe that you as their parents know what is best for your children and that being said, you are the most qualified to make decisions about your children. We will talk to you about what other parents are doing to help generate options and ideas and we will talk to you about research and literature which may help you make some decisions about your children’s needs.
Can you tell us what would be fair in regards to our financial settlement?
We won’t make a determination about what is fair or unfair. We will advise you after the pre-mediation session to consult a family lawyer or accountant to go over your options and offers to ensure your individual rights are being protected and taken into account before you come to the joint mediation session and commence negotiations.