Few separations are amicable from start to finish, so it’s common for one or both partners to seek the help of a mediator. While mediation (FDR) is a compulsory step, it has the potential to support people reach mutually satisfactory, enduring and personalised agreements.
Where there’s dispute over parenting matters, couples with children are legally required to attempt Family Dispute Resolution. Many also choose to simultaneously mediate their financial settlement.
The mediation process comprises an initial 1:1 meeting between each party and a qualified, independent professional mediator, followed by one or more joint meetings. The first meeting is to understand the situation from each participant’s perspective and to ensure that each person feels comfortable working with the mediator. When there are children involved the mediator is ethically compelled to help parents work toward agreements that are in the children’s best interest, taking into account their individual age, temperament, developmental needs and personalities.
Though always remaining impartial, a good mediator will be highly empathetic, listening to each person with kindness and understanding to get to the heart of sensitive, deeply-felt concerns.
More than just a go-between, a good mediator will draw on their years of experience to suggest creative, enduring solutions to previously irreconcilable differences whether in relation to a parenting matter or relating to finances.
Agreements reached in mediation are goodwill agreements but can then be converted into a parenting plan or a legally enforceable Consent Order.
At the Mediation Collective our family mediators work with a range of clients with varied needs:
- Couples seeking financial settlement (no children)
- Same sex couples
- Parents requiring a parenting plan
- Parents seeking financial settlement
- Legally assisted mediations (lawyers present)
- Child inclusive mediations
- Blended family issues
- Issues around relocation
- Issues around schooling
- Section 60i certificates