The Federal Circuit Court and Family Court are completely overloaded at present. Everyone involved in family law knows this.
Most family lawyers I speak with want to get clients out of the court system and avoid them going there in the first place. It is truly a place of last resort.
Litigants are unhappy and frustrated.
One solution developed by he Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland has sought to help relieve this situation.
Nationally Accredited Mediators have been donating their time for half or full day mediations.
When parties attend a trial callover (where the case would otherwise be listed for a final hearing) the Judge may offer them an opportunity to mediate (whether or not they have lawyers). A volunteer mediator is assigned to assist they to resolve their dispute.
It is hoped that the pilot can be expanded to assist more families. It certainly has the support of family law mediators who are happy to donate their time.
10 cases which did not go to trial are 10 more families who managed to negotiate an outcome that all parties could live with.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!