The Family Law Settlement Service (FLSS) is a mediation program, administered by the Law Society’s Alternative Dispute Resolution department, suitable for financial or property disputes that are at the post-conciliation conference stage. Parenting matters are suitable for referral at any time and will be allocated to Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRPs). The program is designed to avoid the costs, uncertainty and delays of having a dispute determined at a final hearing.
How does the FLSS work?
Parties participate in mediation to maintain control of the decision-making process and to make a good faith attempt to resolve their dispute. The mediator will provide a structure for parties to find common ground and discuss the issues in dispute. All agreements are made between the parties – there are no imposed decisions. Solicitors should refer to the FLSS process if they deem the program suitable for their clients.
How much does it cost?
The fee payable is $990.00 per party – this fee covers the mediator’s fees ($825.00) and the FLSS administration fee ($165.00). The fee covers:
• A two-hour preliminary conference and preparation (one hour per party); and
• A three-hour mediation session
If the mediation goes for longer than three hours, then the parties will be charged at an hourly rate as advised by the mediator during the preliminary conference. Any additional costs for venue hire (if required) are shared between the parties.
Who is on the FLSS panel?
The panel consists of solicitors and barristers who are also qualified mediators. To be appointed to the panel they must have demonstrated that they have a substantial involvement in family law in the three years prior to being appointed. They will conduct conflict of interest checks before agreeing to be appointed to your matter to ensure impartiality.