Any type of dispute can be suitable for Mediation, whether it is about parenting, child support, property division, or even some other area of law such as inheritance disputes or contract disputes.
Whether or not your particular dispute is suitable for Mediation depends on a number of different factors which your Mediator is required to assess at a Pre-Mediation Conference, which are held with you and your ex separately and before the Mediation.
During the Pre-Mediation Conference, the Mediator is required to consider factors including the safety, equality of bargaining power, and emotional, psychological and physical health of both you and your ex when determining whether your matter is suitable for Mediation. After both you and your ex have attended your Pre-Mediation Conferences, your Mediator will inform you whether your dispute is suitable for Mediation.
Simply contact us. We will obtain yours and the other party’s details and then make contact with them to invite them to participate in the Mediation process. If they choose to participate, we will contact you to schedule relevant meetings.
For urgent Mediations, the entire process can be completed within 48 hours, subject to parties’ availability. For most Mediations, the process takes about 2-3 weeks to complete.
Mediation Preparation has several purposes:
- For the Mediator to assess your suitability to attend Mediation,
- For the Mediator to determine whether you and your ex should attend Mediation face-to-face, by telephone conference or from separate rooms (with the Mediator moving between rooms to speak to each of you).
- For the Mediator to identify any help or advice you may require to participate effectively in your Mediation, such as legal, accounting or financial advice,
- For the Mediator to help you, if necessary, to access some counselling before you attend your Mediation, and
- For you to familiarise yourself with what is likely to happen during your Mediation so you can feel confident and prepared.
To achieve the above, we may ask you:
– to complete a Mediation Preparation Questionnaire,
– to attend a Mediation Preparation Appointment at our office or over the phone,
– to seek advice from a Family Lawyer, Accountant or Financial Advisor
– to attend counselling
– to arrange for your Family Lawyer, or a support person such as a friend, to attend Mediation with you
– to complete our Mediation Checklist
- When you arrive at our office for your Mediation, you will be shown into your Breakout Room, where you can wait privately for your Mediation to start.
- Just before your Mediation, the Mediator will see you in your Breakout Room to check you are okay and ready for your Mediation.
- The Mediator will then lead you into the Mediation Room and will also bring your ex into the Mediation Room. You, your ex, and the Mediator will sit around a large conference table.
- The Mediator will then welcome you and your ex to the Mediation, explain the process and some ground rules.
- The Mediator will then invite you and your ex to individually make a brief ‘Opening Statement ‘ which states what you’d like to cover during the Mediation. The Mediator may use a whiteboard or screen to set out an Agenda of issues to cover during the Mediation based on each of your Opening Statements.
- The Mediator will then encourage a conversation between you and your ex, working through each of the issues on the Agenda.
- The Mediator may also use a whiteboard and perhaps a screen to list options and to document any agreements reached during the Mediation.
- At some point during the Mediation, the Mediator may see you and your ex separately in your individual Breakout Rooms for a confidential discussion about how you feel you are going, to privately discuss any sensitive issues that have come up in the Mediation, to help you develop options and to help you consider any options that your ex has proposed.
- Then the Mediation will resume, to see if any progress can be made to reach agreement.
- At the conclusion of your Mediation, the Mediator will give you a print out of the agreements reached before you leave our office.
- Shortly after your Mediation, the Mediator will send you a Mediation Outcome Report which details the issues dealt with and any agreements reached during Mediation. You can keep this as a record of the Mediation and your Family Lawyer can use it as the basis for drafting an Agreement, Parenting Plan or Consent Orders. The Mediation Outcome Report will also include a section 60I certificate.
Most parties ultimately agree to participate, even where they have initially been reluctant. It might be necessary to let a little time pass, to start negotiations through a Lawyer, or perhaps even start Court proceedings, however, the other party is likely to eventually see the benefit in attending Mediation.
We are required to make at least two written requests for the other party to attend Mediation. If these requests are refused or ignored, we may then issue you with a section 60I Certificate, which allows you to start court proceedings for parenting orders.
We offer alternative arrangements to attending Mediation in the same room:
Telephone/Skype mediation: if you live at a distance from our Mediation rooms, or you don’t want to attend in person, we offer Mediations by telephone or Skype so you can still participate in the process.
Shuttle mediation: Each participant sits in separate and private rooms and the Mediator conducts the Mediation by going from one room to the other.
Yes, provided the other party is notified and has given prior consent to your support person attending.
Yes, provided the other party is notified and has given prior consent to your Lawyer attending.
The Mediator will provide you with a copy of the agreement. You may then act upon the agreement in good faith (in which case the terms of the agreement will not be binding and enforceable), or take the agreement to your Lawyer to arrange for it to be formalised so that it is binding and enforceable.
You have a number of options: you can wait for a little time to pass, you can attend a further Mediation, you can commence negotiations yourself or through your Lawyer, or you can start Court Proceedings.
Yes, attending Mediation does not stop you from going to Court.
A private room available for each participant to ‘break out’ of the Mediation – to have a snack, make phone calls, speak to their Lawyer or support person privately.
Family Law Mediation is technically known as Family Dispute Resolution under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). Except in limited circumstances, parties must attend Family Dispute Resolution (and have been issued a Section 60I Certificate) before they are permitted to start court proceedings for parenting matters.
A Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner is a Mediator with specialist training and accreditation to ensure the protection of parties and children in the Mediation process. A Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner must be registered with the Attorney General’s Department (Cth).