Family Dispute Resolution
Family disputes can often be heartbreaking with tragic consequences. Disputes with particularly high conflict can destroy family relationships, cause emotional devastation and financial hardship. Something you never dreamed of for your own family. Your separation does not need to become a statistic. You can make a positive choice and make a difference to your family by seeking help and putting in place agreements which are in the best interests of all parties, most importantly to achieve the best outcome for your children. With our help you can resolve your conflict mutually and respectfully and piece together a new life and future for every family member.
Family Conflict - How we can help you
As specialist Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRPs) we have experience in resolving all forms of family conflict. We work with you and your family to maintain control of your situation, resolve the conflict, preserve the integrity of the parties and wider family members. Additionally, we can work with you to manage your financial assets, understand your emotions and move positively to a new future. We recognise that every family and situation is unique and we aim to help you put the best agreements in place for your specific situation. We provide a safe and supportive environment for parents to have a constructive conversation that enables them to better understand each other. We then help you to form defined agreements about important issues for the future.
What is Mediation?
It is really quite simple. Mediation is a conversation guided and managed by an independent neutral third party – the mediator. To find out more details about what happens in mediation, please call us and we can go through all of the details and answer your questions.
What else do I need to know?
- Since 2009, the Family Law Act requires separated parents to make a 'genuine attempt' at mediation (FDR). However, if you are unable to reach agreement, we can provide you with a Section 601 certificate, that enables you to access the Family Court.
- Because the mediator is neutral, it does not matter who firstly initiates the mediation process. Both parties are treated equally and are able to raise points for discussion and all matters are treated with strict confidence.
Mediation is more cost effective, less time-consuming and less damaging than litigation.
Mediation can provide you with an element of control over the outcome, allowing you to create your own solutions and results.
Mediation can help to repair fractured relationships therefore creating a more positive outcome and future for all involved.
We are skilled in areas such as how to support your children through separation and reducing the conflict and anxiety at this difficult time. We can also make any appropriate referrals for help for any family member
We will arrange to meet with each party separately. The purpose of this meeting is to hear what is happening from your perspective, clarify what you would like to discuss in mediation, explain in detail how the mediation works and provides us with an opportunity to fully assess your situation and determine whether or not it is appropriate to mediate. This discussion also provides you with an opportunity to assess whether you are comfortable to proceed.
A mediation typically lasts for around 3 hours. This sounds like a long time but it is a short period to resolve the issues that have been burdening your family for some time. Additional sessions are occasionally required to finalise all issues but often one session is enough. As your family situation develops over the years, as your children grow and their (or your) needs change you can mediate again over different issues – I.e. a change in financial circumstances, introducing new partners, changes to existing agreements, schooling and so on.
The mediator will type up any agreements that you make during your mediation. This ‘Good Will Agreement’ outlines the points agreed and reflects the intentions of the parties involved. If you wish you can then take additional steps to make your agreements legally enforceable. Options include instructing a lawyer to turn the agreements into consent orders, or converting the agreements to consent orders yourselves in order to save on legal costs, or making your agreement into a Parenting Plan. We can provide you with more information on all of these options.
What if the other party doesn’t want to mediate?
Participation in mediation is voluntary which means that you can choose not to participate and you can withdraw from the process at any point. However, changes were made to the Family Law Act in 2006 which saw the introduction of mediation as a required step for disputes involving post-separation parenting. As registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRPs) we are authorised to issue Section 60I certificates.
Who can mediate?
Anyone with a dispute or in conflict can mediate about absolutely any topic at all. However, family mediations can involve parents or separated parents, grandparents, or any other family member who needs to raise a subject with the aid of an independent, neutral third party.
We understand that all of this can be confusing, particularly when you are already in the middle of a stressful situation. Please give us a call and we can help you to understand this better and start a plan to help you with a better future.
What Next? Let’s Talk
Simply call us and we will explain the mediation process and answer any questions you may have. If you would like to proceed with mediation, we can then discuss the best way to proceed.