How does Family Mediation (Family Dispute Resolution) work in practice?

Family Mediation (Family Dispute Resolution) is a simple step-by-step process, which is designed to help separating couples reach agreements on the issues that they bring to mediation so that they can move on with their lives.

STEP 1: Make sure family mediation is right for you

Our Family Mediator will speak with you at a pre-mediation Intake Meeting, which can take place face to face or over the phone to ensure that Family Mediation (Family Dispute Resolution) is appropriate and likely to achieve what you are hoping for. Most importantly at this Intake Meeting, the Family Mediator will provide you with information to help you prepare for the mediation and will answer any questions you have.

The Intake Meeting is confidential, and information discussed will not be disclosed to the other party.

STEP 2: Invite the other person to family mediation (if necessary)

After the Intake Session and if your ex-partner has not yet agreed to attend mediation, our Family Mediator will discuss the best way to invite the other person to the mediation process. Usually, it is by phone and in writing. Following the law, we will make at least 2 attempts to invite your ex, one of which must be in writing.

If your ex-partner refuses to attend mediation, you can request a Section 60I Certificate from our Family Mediator so that you can commence proceedings in the Family Court for children’s matters. No certificate is required for property matters.

STEP 3: Intake Meeting with the other person

Once your ex-partner has agreed to attend mediation, our Family Mediator will arrange for an Intake Session to be conducted with them.

STEP 4: Attend Family Mediation

How: The options for Family Mediation include: 

  • JOINT SESSION – the Family Mediation is commenced in a joint session with both parties and the Family Mediator, with the opportunity to break into separate rooms as required.
  • BY SHUTTLE – the Family Mediator assists the parties involved to reach an agreement without them being present in the same mediation room.
  • ON THE TELEPHONE or BY ONLINE VIDEO CONFERENCE – where parties cannot attend in person, are interstate or in remote areas.

 

Step 4a: Family Mediation Process

  • The Family Mediator opens the mediation and outlines the process for mediation that day, her role and what is expected of the parties.
  • Both parties are invited to outline the matters that they wish to discuss and get agreement on. Those matters form the agenda for the mediation.
  • The parties then have an opportunity to thoroughly explore the matters on the agenda for the purpose of coming up with options as to how to resolve the matters. The Family Mediator assists the parties to have constructive conversations about these matters.
  • The parties are encouraged to put forward a range of options for resolving the matters in dispute. Those options are negotiated with the aim of getting a resolution on all of the matters.

Where: Our meditation rooms are located at 222 Ferry Road, Southport. Upon request, we can make arrangements for rooms in other locations suitable to the parties. [Provide a link to map] 

When: Our Family Mediator makes arrangements for mediation at a mutually agreed time. We are available after work hours and on weekends.

If your ex-partner refuses to attend mediation, you can request a Section 60I Certificate from our Family Mediator so that you can commence proceedings in the Family Court for children’s matters. No certificate is required for property matters.

STEP 5: Agreement in Family Mediation

Where agreement is reached (which is in most cases), the Family Mediator will record the agreement and give each party a copy.

To make your property and financial agreement legally binding you can apply to the Court to have your agreement made into a Consent Order or engage a lawyer to draft a Binding Financial Agreement. 

In children’s matters, the agreement can be signed as a Parenting Plan or you can have your agreement drafted as Consent Orders which can be lodged with the Family Court [www.familycourt.gov.au]. 

Where agreement cannot be reached in Children’s matters, the Family Mediator will issue a Section 60I Certificate so that you can commence proceedings in the Family Court.

Call or SMS Stacey Turner our Family Mediator on 0418782239 or email her at stacey@goldcoastfamilymediation.com.au to set up a time for a complimentary and confidential 20-minute consultation where you can find out more about the family mediation process.

If we agree to proceed, we will make an appointment for an Intake Meeting either in her consulting rooms at 222 Ferry Road, Southport or via telephone or skype.

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