Shepherds Family Law | Family Law Settlement Service
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Family Law Settlement Service

I am one of the mediators recently appointed to the Family Law Settlement Service established by the Family Court, Law Society and Bar Association.

I attended a seminar on Wednesday organised by the Law Society and Bar Association for Service mediators. I thought you might be interested in the following information about the Service, and also two new pages on our website linked below.

  1. The Service covers property settlement matters currently awaiting a final hearing date before the Sydney Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court.
  2. The cost is $1,980 incl GST, generally shared between the parties. This covers individual pre-meetings, reading and a three hour mediation.
  3. The parties have no choice in the selection of the mediator who is allocated by the Service (although parties could consider agreeing on a preferred mediator to be arranged separately from the Service).
  4. The Courts have been referring matters to the Service even when parties object. Justice Watts in relied on s13(1) of the Family Law Act to order parties to pay and attend at mediation. Section 13(1) allows the Court to require parties attend family dispute resolution or participate in another “service” – hence the name of the Service.To ensure his Orders were justified by s13, Justice Watts also directed that the Service ensure the allocated mediator was also a registered family dispute resolution practitioner.
  5. Approximately 130 matters will be referred in the next week to mediation (mostly from the Federal Magistrates Court but around ten from the Family Court). I have been allocated my first mediation from the Service this week.

I have added two relevant pages to our website.

Email me on if you have any questions.

Yours faithfully
Matthew Shepherd
Shepherds The Family Law & Mediation Specialists