Family Mediation

Family Mediation


We understand that separation is often a time of high emotional stress and conflict, making it difficult to discuss and resolve tough issues. Family Mediation provides separating parents with the opportunity to resolve differences, without the need to proceed to court. With her background in psychology, working with children and knowledge of Family

Larne is an experienced child psychologist with a wealth of experience supporting children and families. She has a special insight into the importance of child focused mediation as a result of her extensive experience supporting and counselling children after separation.

About the Mediator



Ms Larne Wellington, B. Psych (Hons), MAPS, Registered Psychologist, Family Dispute Resolution Provider(FDRP) under the Family Law Act and is accredited by the Australian Attorney General. Larne is authorised to provide a certificate to confirm to a court that an attempt at family dispute resolution was made.

 

Larne provides mediation services to assist people experiencing divorce or de facto separation to sort out arrangements for the children including drawing up a parenting plan, resolving parent-teen conflicts or parenting disagreements and division of property.

 

Family dispute resolution services which provide the opportunity for children to talk to a child specialist about how they are feeling regarding the separation/divorce is referred to as child-inclusive mediation. With the child’s permission this information is then used to assist the separating parents actively consider the unique needs of each child. Larne is committed to practicing from a child-inclusive approach.

 

Larne understands that separation is often a time of high emotional stress and conflict, making it difficult to discuss and resolve tough issues. With her background in psychology, working with children and with an understanding of family law, Larne is a highly effective mediator able to guide you through the issues and challenges towards a workable resolution.

FAQs


FAQ

What is Mediation?

 

Family Law Mediation is a process which allows people affected by separation and divorce to sort out their disputes with each other. You may have reached a point where you can’t agree on issues concerning your property, children or money. Support to solve these differences will save you time, money and stress!

What is compulsory Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)?

 

Family dispute resolution, also known as mediation, can provide people affected by separation and divorce with an effective and alternative method to the court system. If you want to apply to the court for a parenting order (and you had not applied before 1 July 2007) you will need a certificate from a registered family dispute resolution provider.

 

A family dispute resolution practitioner can help you and the other person discuss issues, look at options, and to develop arrangements for your children.

Who is a ‘registered’ Family Dispute Resolution Provider (FDRP)?

A registered family dispute resolution provider is an individual who has met the required standards of training, experience and suitability for inclusion on the Family Dispute Resolution Register. Registered family dispute resolution providers can conduct family dispute resolution and, if needed, issue a certificate for you to take to court to confirm that an attempt at family dispute resolution was made.

What information will a Mediator provide?

 

Family dispute resolution providers must inform you about various matters, such as the process, their qualifications, and fees before family dispute resolution can be started.

 

If you are trying to resolve disagreements about your children, the family dispute resolution practitioner must give you information about parenting plans and other services available to help you.

 

Family dispute resolution practitioners are also required to provide you with the particulars about a complaints mechanism which you can use should you wish to complain about the services they provide to you.

 

Before family dispute resolution can commence, an assessment will be made to see whether family dispute resolution is suitable for your situation.

 

In order to make informed decisions, each party should obtain independent legal advice about their legal rights and obligations prior to coming to mediation.

Is Mediation right for me?

 

Mediation is for any parent who would like assistance to resolve difficulties and conflict. Each of you can have your say with an independent, impartial facilitator guiding the process, key issues can be identified and discussed, options can be developed and negotiated and agreements can be reached.

Are children involved in mediation?

Children do not attend mediation. However, their views and the best interests of the child should be given consideration in the process of attempting to resolve post-separation disputes. Child-inclusive practice gives children an opportunity to participate in the process.

What is child-inclusive practice?

 

Child inclusive practice is when the dispute resolution process includes a trained child specialist, who may also be the mediator, who meets with and assesses the child and provides the parents with feedback. Research indicates that parents who include their children in the dispute resolution process in this way are happier with the plans/agreements they make for their children.

 

Child-inclusive mediation is only undertaken in suitable circumstances (eg. when it is safe to do so, the child is at least  five years of age, all parties, including the child, agree, and the specialist/s consider that it will assist the process) and is not used to side with one or other of the parties.

How does the child consultation work?

A child consultation session lasts for approximately 90 minutes where the child is encouraged and supported, through drawings and play, to explore their experience. They are not asked to make family decisions or to take sides.

 

Feedback from the children’s session is discussed with parents at a follow up session to help them understand and accommodate their child’s unique needs in the negotiation of separation parenting arrangements. The consultation can help you understand how your children are feeling and coping when there is conflict or difficulty in the family after separation and divorce. A child’s development is significantly impacted by conflict. A child consultation will assist you to create the best environment for your children in difficult circumstances.

Is Mediation confidential?

 

Under the Family Law Act, a Family dispute resolution practitioner is required to keep everything you say confidential – except in certain circumstances, such as where you give consent, or to prevent a serious threat to someone’s life or health or to prevent the commission of a crime. A family dispute resolution practitioner must also report child abuse.

 

The Mediator can not divulge information to the other party and must remain impartial until the Mediation commences. Therefore, the Mediator will not be giving advice, making suggestions, or commenting on your situation etc in the Intake Interview.The Mediator can not divulge information to the other party and must remain impartial until the Mediation commences. Therefore, the Mediator will not be giving advice, making suggestions, or commenting on your situation etc in the Intake Interview.

What happens in FDR mediation?

 

Step 1:  Contact us and request mediation information. For Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) sign and return the Information Acknowledgement Form.

 

Step 2:  Once we have received your Information Acknowledgement Form we will contact you to arrange an Intake Interview. The mediator will meet with you separately for approximately 1.5 hours. The aim of the session is to help prepare you for mediation and give you the opportunity to clarify any issues or concerns you have. The mediator will also determine whether mediation is appropriate in your situation.

 

Step 3:  Once Intake Interviews have been completed for both Parties and an FDR/Mediation process deemed an appropriate one, an appointment for the mediation session will be arranged.

 

Step 4:   Both parties must complete an “Agreement to Mediate” form which must be signed and forwarded to our office.

 

Step 5:   If a child consultation is required this will be arranged, as well as a parent feedback session, prior to the mediation

 

Step 6:  The mediation session will be booked for a minimum 3 hours. Both parties explore the issues until workable solutions and agreement is reached.

 

Step 7:  If agreements are reached the parties draft a written agreement, with the Mediator’s assistance.

 

Additional steps may be considered:

 

Step 8:  Take the written summary to a solicitor for independent legal advice and to draft Consent orders.

 

Step 9:  Decide whether to register the agreement with the Family Court.

How long does FDR mediation take?

Mediation sessions are booked for a minimum of 3 hours which includes a refreshment break and separate interviews if required. Depending on the number of issues to be resolved, it may take more than one session to reach agreement on all outstanding issues.

What happens to any agreement reached in FDR?

 

If you want to make your final parenting plan or other agreement legally binding, you can apply to the court for a consent order. You can do this yourself or ask your lawyer to do it for you.

 

If you reach an agreement on arrangements for your child, this can be recorded as a parenting plan. To be recognised under the Family Law Act, a parenting plan must be in writing, dated and signed by both parents. Your parenting plan can include details on how the plan can be changed and how disagreements about the plan will be resolved. Agreements can be renegotiated over time, if necessary.

What if I don’t attend FDR mediation or make a genuine effort?

 

  • take this into account in deciding costs (you could be ordered to pay some or all of the other party’s legal costs), and/or
  • order you and the other party to attend family dispute resolution.

If the other party attends mediation and proceeds to court and you don’t attend or you don’t make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute the court may:

How much does FDR mediation cost?

 

The cost of mediation varies according to the services offered and the time required. Please contact us for more information.

How do I get started?

For an Information pack please phone us on  07 3096 0450

The typical steps involved in family mediation at Positive Families:

1

Contact Positive Families for an Information Pack

2

Once we have received your Information Acknowledgement Form we will contact you to arrange an Intake Interview. You will meet the mediator separately. The aim of the session is to help prepare you for mediation and give you the opportunity to clarify any issues or concerns you have regarding the mediation process. The mediator will also determine whether mediation is appropriate in your situation*.

 

* If there has been any physical or emotional abuse in a relationship, mediation may not be suitable. We will let you know if we consider your case to be unsuitable for mediation. 

3

If you decide to proceed to Mediation a letter and Information will be sent to the other party advising them that you have requested that they attend mediation. We will send to both parties an “Agreement to Mediate” form which must be signed and brought along to the mediation.

4

Mediation begins with both parties present or in separate rooms if required. The parties explore possible solutions.

5

If agreements are reached the parties draft a written agreement, with the Mediator’s help.

6

The parties draft a written agreement with the mediator’s assistance.

 

Fill in the form below for a Family Mediation Info Pack