Family Dispute Resolution
Family Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a process where the mediator or Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) facilitates separating couples to discuss issues and work out:
Arrangements for children, Property arrangements and Finances in a manner which is :
- self-determined and
- conducive to a long term civil relationship
(necessary for raising happy healthy and balanced children)
Under the Family Law Act 1975 and with a few exceptions, separating parents with children are required to make a genuine effort to resolve issues in dispute regarding their children through Family Dispute Resolution.
A 60I certificate from a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner must be provided to the Family Court or Family Circuit Court prior to commencing legal action.
Types of family mediations include but are not limited to:
- Children’s Care and Living Arrangements
- Parenting Plans
- 60I certificate
- Property Agreements
- Wills & Estates Disputes
- Inter-Family Disputes
Mediation Process in Family Dispute Resolution
- Generally, the process begins in pre-mediation where each party individually meets with the mediator to discuss their issues and concerns. These sessions are confidential.
- The mediation will commence with the mediator welcoming the parties and introducing herself followed by an outline of the mediator’s role in the mediation process and discussion of confidentiality.The parties are then invited to give a brief outline of their concerns and issues and what that party hopes to achieve from the process.
- The mediator then facilitates discussion between the parties to allow them to identify the issues in dispute and to discuss possible options to resolving these issues.
- Options generated are then evaluated and tested by the parties with assistance by the mediator.
- Often a whiteboard will be used by the mediator and this will be photographed by the mediator and distributed to the parties.
- Resolutions reached are documented by the mediator and distributed to the parties.
- Either party may nominate that mediation occurs with the parties in separate rooms and the mediator shuttle between the parties.
- Telephone shuttle mediation is also available
- The mediator may separate the parties and shuttle between them.
- The mediator may choose to speak with each party individually during the mediation if she feels this is necessary.
- Each party can, at any time during the process, ask for a private session with the mediator and the mediator will then offer equal private time to the other party.
- Either party or the mediator may ask for the session to be adjourned or suspended at any time during the process.
- Either party or the mediator may terminate the mediation.
- All parties and the mediator are required to conduct themselves at all times in a civil and non-confrontational manner.
- The role of the mediator is both to facilitate the process of mediation so that the parties may resolve disputes in issue between them and to create an environment free of intimidation, anxiety and blame thus allowing each party to communicate, negotiate and cooperate effectively to create resolution.