Separating couples can now access low or no cost* property mediation services through the Toowoomba Family Relationship Centre.

8 March 2021

An affordable option for separating couples to resolve their property disputes is now available at the Toowoomba Family Relationship Centre (FRC).

Federal Government funding has allowed FRCs across Australia to expand their family law services to include low or no-cost family law property mediation.

However, the Toowoomba FRC has taken it a step further by bringing local lawyers on board to support clients to make informed decisions about their property division following separation.

Clients attending property mediation at the FRC can opt to obtain legal advice and support at the mediation at a greatly discounted rate, thanks to a unique partnership between the Toowoomba FRC and regional law firms.

Toowoomba FRC Team Leader Morgen Grigg said the property mediation service had the potential to save separating families thousands, while helping them to reach an early and amicable resolution of their property issues.

“The government funding for property mediation was prompted by the Australian Law Reform Commission report into the family law system which found that family dispute resolution (FDR) was an under-used pathway for property issues,” Ms Grigg said.

“Even among former couples with very modest asset pools—$40,000 or less—the use of lawyers and courts is more common than the use of FDR.

“The Toowoomba FRC has created a unique opportunity for clients to obtain good legal advice while going through mediation to reach their own agreement about how they want to divide their property following separation.”

Mediation at the FRC is accessible to all separating couples, regardless of whether they have children and whether they were married or in a de facto relationship (including same-sex relationships). The Centre offers additional supports for vulnerable clients and those from indigenous or culturally diverse backgrounds.

There is no means test to access the FRC, with mediation fees based on each client’s income. For people earning less than $50,000, mediation is free, while for those earning over $50,000 a fee of $60 applies for the first three-hour mediation session. Where clients opt to involve lawyers, the FRC has negotiated discounted fixed fees for clients with partner legal firms.


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