The Family Dispute Resolution process is to help separating or separated parents, or other recognised caregivers, build a better understanding of their children’s needs and to mediate an improved co-parenting relationship. The emphasis during mediation is about maintaining a focus on the children.
Once an application for Family Dispute Resolution is received, your application will be allocated to the most appropriate mediator. We attempt to match the allocation to the mediator who will be best suited to your circumstances. In some instances, that may also include the allocation of a co-mediator where we believe additional expertise or experience would assist.
Each party to the application will then be visited separately by the mediator. Our initial visits are typically home visits, if that is agreed to. Support people are welcome to attend. During these visits, we will discuss with each party; privacy, confidentiality, funding and the issues that are to be addressed during mediation, including whether or not the children should participate in the process.
If both parties are in agreement following the initial visits then we can make arrangements for the mediation. The process may involve meeting together with the mediator, commonly called “face to face” mediation or the parties may meet separately if they choose, commonly called “shuttle mediation”. Again support people may be present. If the mediation is Court directed, Lawyer for Child will be invited to attend. How the mediation is to be held will be discussed with both parties and arranged to suit their circumstances.