(FDR) Family Dispute Resolution (Separation Mediation)
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) mediation can help you to agree on matters relating to your children - such as a parenting plans, consent orders and property settlements.
Question: Can parents write up parenting plans and property settlements without FDR or lawyers? Yes, you can, but they are not legally binding documents. A legally binding document is called a 'consent order.'
The Family Law Act (1975) directs that you must attend Family Law Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution before you file an application for parenting consent orders or financial/ property orders.
Question: Can't I just see a solicitor for parenting consent orders or property settlements? You can see a solicitor/ lawyer to find out your legal rights, and to write up parenting or property consent orders; however, you will still have to attend separate mediation because 99% of lawyers are not Federally Accredited Mediators (FDRPs).
The Family Court of Australia says that mediation must be attempted. If it fails, one party can apply for a 60i certificate from the mediator and then things can be filed in the Court system. *Exceptional conditions: Urgency, child abuse, or family violence.
Bypassing family mediation If you don’t go through the FDR process, and you want a legally binding document, the Court will direct you to mediation.
What happens if mediation fails? If mediation fails, and it goes to Court, both parties will have to abide by a Judge’s decision, like it or not. With mediation your voice is heard, your opinion matters and you can finalise your parenting and property matters quickly, to mutual and child-focused benefit.
What if the other person refuses to go to mediation? Family dispute resolution won’t work unless each person involved agrees to go. If one person refuses to go, or to cooperate once there, the mediator can issue a 60I Certificate. This gives you the right to apply to court.
How long is the wait to be heard in Family Court? Did you know that the average waiting time for a matter to be heard before the Family Law Courts is about 1 -2 years after filing your application? That means that your life can be effectively “put on hold” for 1 to 2 years – before you can move on.
The Family Dispute Resolution Process: Ghita Andersen is a Counsellor and a federally accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (Bond Law Clinic Trained), and is dedicated to supporting separated and divorced families. Whether you’re struggling to communicate with your child’s other parent, or need to find a different way to share time with your children, contact Ghita today and start making things better for you and your children.
When you choose mediation, you’ll be supported from first contact, through to preparing for mediation, and even after you’ve reached agreement. We offer mediation that focuses on the best outcome for all concerned, as well as conflict resolution training.
Step 1 – Choose Ghita Therapy By choosing Ghita Andersen as your practitioner you can avoid exhaustive waiting lists and mounting legal costs. Our process is not only fast, it is designed to give you lasting outcomes that don’t cost a fortune. Call 0439 888 070 to let Ghita know that you would like to begin the mediation process.
Step 2 – Intake Session (1 hour face to face, or via Skype) *An intake interview is mandatory under the Family Law Regulations. During the intake meeting, you will be able to discuss your specific concerns and issues. Likewise, your ex- partner will meet or talk with Ghita for their own intake interview. Following these interviews a decision will be made about whether it is appropriate to proceed with mediation.
Step 3 – Mediation Information Pack & Invoice Ghita Therapy will send you an information pack and invoice to pay. Complete and return the questionnaire contained in the information pack and make payment using one of the various payment options available.
Step 4 – Pre-Mediation Check Ghita Andersen will contact you to make sure you are ready for mediation (emotionally and have evidential paperwork), so that you can get the most out of your time in mediation. It is crucial that you are fully prepared, so that the proceeding steps are easy, painless and successful.
Step 5 – Mediation Session 1 Your nationally accredited mediator will bring you both you and your former partner together to reach an agreement about your parenting and property matters. This step will determine how quickly you can move on with your life and regain your independence. During the morning session with your mediator works with both members of the mediation to help them resolve custody and property matters.
Step 6 – Extended Mediation Session (if required) This may include:
Further negotiation (back and forth)
601 forms - if agreement is not reached (*extra cost)
Request for Formal Drafting of Consent Orders (*Referral to Divorce Lawyers or Advice)
If required: Financial Consultant Report (Sorting the Family Pool of Assets: The pool will usually include things such as the matrimonial home, any investment properties, savings accounts, motor vehicles, shares and all other items of value, such as superannuation. The law that governs the division of the property pool in the Family Law Act 1975.)
Step 7 - Getting on with your life.
Facts: Average Time for FDR We have found that generally, families need a minimum of 4+ hours to mediate, plus some time at the end of mediation to write up and sign any agreement that has been reached. *Of course, longer mediation is available if property settlement is required. We cannot guarantee that agreement will be reached after 4 hours.
Parenting Plans If you reach agreement on arrangements for your children, you can put together a parenting plan. It must be dated and signed by both parents. It can include procedures to change arrangements and resolve any disagreements in future and can be renegotiated at any time. You and your former partner can agree to change a current court parenting order by entering into a parenting plan (unless the court has ordered that you can’t).
Consent Orders The Family Law Act applies in every state of Australia and includes provisions for parents to make an agreement or consent orders regarding the future care of, and access to children after separation. If you and your former partner have reached an agreement for a Parenting Plan, but want to make it legally binding, you can apply to the Court for Consent Orders or get a lawyer to do it for you. However, you cannot apply for a consent order if you have not attempted mediation,
Counselling for Conscious Uncoupling Counselling should seriously be considered due to the significant emotional consequences of a family break-down. Please note that for ethical reasons, Ghita chooses not to be a mediator and a counsellor to the same client.
601 Certificates Parties who partake in family dispute resolution before applying for a Court Order will be issued with a certificate, commonly referred to as a section 60I certificate. There a 5 section 60I certificates:
A person did not attend family dispute resolution because they refused to do so. Cert A
Non-attendance by a person to family dispute resolution was because the practitioner considered it inappropriate. Cert B
The parties attended but did not make genuine efforts to resolve the issue. Cert C
There was attendance to family dispute resolution and the parties made a genuine effort to resolve the issues. Cert D
The parties did attend family dispute resolution but the practitioner considered it inappropriate to continue. Cert E
Bookings: From February 2020 To confirm a booking for your mediation, full payment needs to be cleared. *Note: Due to the time preparation for family mediation, 24 hour notice of postponements is required, otherwise funds are forfeited.
Intake session: Compulsory for basic background information about the relationship from each party (60 min+) Face to face, via Skype or Zoom = $150 per person
3 hour Mediation (Shared session $450 each) Total = $900
Ghita Therapy cannot guarantee that agreement will be reached after 3 hours.
Additional hours $150 per person, per hour.
Section 60I Certificate: $75 (NB: only emailed to the person asking and paying for it.)
Terms and Conditions: Please read: *Please note that by booking in for mediation you agree to the terms on this page. Ignorance of terms is not a sufficient reason not to pay, or to expect any special treatment. *If payments are not cleared 48 hours before mediation the mediation is cancelled. *Due to the lengthy time preparation involved for family mediation, 48 hour notice of postponements and cancellations is required, otherwise all funds are forfeited. There are no refunds for postponements or cancellations within 48 hours. *If either party is a no-show for mediation, all pre-paid funds are forfeited.