Family Mediations and Arbitrations | Family Dispute Resolution | Rafton Family Lawyers Sydney

Family Dispute Resolution , Arbitrations & Family Mediation

Welcome to Rafton Family Lawyers

Highly Qualified and Experienced Sydney Family Lawyers

    Family mediationExcept in certain circumstances, all Court applicants seeking Parenting Orders must undergo three hours of compulsory family mediation, known as Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) before any application to the Court is made.

    There are two avenues to pursue this:

        1. Via the Federally funded Family Relationship Centres (FRC)
        2. Via private mediation by an approved facilitator

    The Family Relationship Centre are located around Australia and generally inconvenient geographic locations that service a local community – the closest Family Relationship Centre to our offices would be in Penrith or Blacktown.

    The Family Relationship Centre has a standard intake process and waiting times can be quite long. They also request that any applicant undergo a short course and watch a video prior to the first family dispute resolution session. In some cases, applicants are not deemed suitable for mediation and will be advised accordingly. They provide advice concerning children and parenting issues, focusing on the best outcome for the child.

    Private family mediations are ones that are paid for up-front. Our firm can recommend the services of several mediators who charge from approximately $550 for each party for a three hour session. If we are requesting to mediate, but unsure whether the other side will participate, an initial payment of approximately $320 is made to confirm the place. The other party is then invited to participate, if they chose to do so, the balance of your fee is then paid for the three hour family mediation (and the other party will pay their fee in full).

    The benefit of this type of mediation is that it can generally be arranged within two to four weeks. At the completion of the session a Certificate will be issued.

    Rafton Family Lawyers offer services in arbitration and mediation.

    We have a team of highly experienced and qualified family lawyers that offer both arbitration and mediations. All our arbitrators have over 15 years experience in family law and are accredited specialists.


    Fixed fee of $3,300 including GST for a one day arbitration. This includes all preparation fees and payment for delivery of the award (so a fee of $3,300.00 including GST per party).

    Each additional arbitration day is a further $1,650.00.

    The arbitrations can be held at our modern offices at Parramatta, Penrith or Richmond with no additional fees for use of our arbitration facilities.

    Our fee is all inclusive and we offer:

    1. Free recording of the proceedings that can be provided to the litigants to be transcribed at their cost.
    2. No room hire fees
    3. Additional days are just $1650 per day
    4. Bookings availability immediately for any arbitrations.
    5. Award delivered within 4 weeks

    Mediation services

    We are offering mediations for property and parenting matters for $2,200.00 for a half day mediation (up to 3 hours) and $4,400.00 for a full day mediation.

    Again, we offer the opportunity for the issue of a S60I certificate and our mediators are all accredited under the National Mediation Standards and are specialist family

    What is a Certificate?

    A Certificate is issued in accordance with section 60I of the Family Law Act. This is a certificate that is filed with any court application to indicate that Family Dispute Resolution has been attempted, and the outcome of that mediation.  In cases where Family Dispute Resolution and family mediation has been deemed not suitable, or the other party refuses to participate, the Certificate will indicate this.

    Legal Aid Conference

    The Legal Aid Commission provides funding for suitable applicants to participate in conferencing. This type of family dispute resolution is recommended by the Commission prior to any grants being awarded to proceed to Court.

    The Commission funds the solicitor to attend with the client. In the past, our firm has found these conferences to be extremely beneficial for clients in reaching agreements and there is a very high success rate reported in reaching agreements. At the conclusion of a conference by Legal Aid a section 60I Certificate can be issued on request of either party.

    If funding is provided for a conference then the Legal Aid Commission will invite the other party or parties to participate. There is no compulsion on anyone to attend a conference, although if a party is legally aided (or applies to be legally aided) then they will need to provide a compelling argument as to why they should not attend a conference if they wish to obtain any ongoing funding.

    Conferences are generally not conducted when matters involve allegations of physical or emotional violence or abuse of children. However, conferences can still occur via telephone or shuttle conferences, meaning the parties do not conference in the same room.

    Legal Aid Conferences have a chairperson who is the mediator for the conference.  The chairperson/s does not tell you what to do or give you advice or even their opinion of what will happen if your matter went to Court. Their role is to control the mediation and ensure that all parties are safe and comfortable.

    The Conference is confidential.  Each person who participates in the conference signs and is bound by a Confidentiality Agreement which precludes evidence being given of anything said or done at a conference. The confidentiality of the process allows all parties to clearly consider their “best and worst” outcomes and to “reality test” those outcomes (i.e. to consider how realistic it may be that they will achieve what they want if they go to Court).

    If agreement is reached then terms of Settlement will usually be prepared and signed by all parties at the conference. Legal Aid funding is then provided to enable Consent Orders to be obtained from the Court.

    At the end of the Conference the Chairperson reports back to the Legal Aid Commission and recommends whether funding should continue. They also advise of any agreement that has been reached.

    Contact Our Sydney Family Law Office If You Need Any Help with Family Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution Services. We focus on resolving situations that is in best interest of everyone involved especially children.

    Read our plain English handbooks

    These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.


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    Rafton Arbitration and Mediation Brochure

    Ensure that your clients are given the best possible opportunity to exit the Court process with a professional and efficient resolution to their family law dispute.

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