Your Family Dispute Resolution Lawyers in the Ipswich & Greater Springfield QLD Region
- Preparation for Family Dispute Resolution
- Discussion between parties
- Negotiation & correspondence
Other Alternative Dispute Resolution methods
After a de facto relationship or marriage break up, the financial issues and the parenting arrangements you need to make can all take a toll on you.
The best method is to do away with the time, stress, and expenses that come with going to court. As such, what anyone going through a separation needs is a way to settle these matters quickly and amicably. This is where family dispute resolution services come in.
Going through a separation is difficult enough. Having to sort out the division of assets and parenting arrangements makes this period even more bothersome. Additionally, family law issues, regardless of how simple they may seem, can be quite complex.
These reasons make it necessary to always have a legal adviser throughout your separation and this includes the family dispute resolution process. With a local dispute resolution lawyer, you can be certain that your rights and interests will be adequately protected.
Here at VM Family Law, our family dispute resolution lawyers are ready and able to guide you through the mediation process. We understand how difficult this period is and want to help ease that burden while protecting you and your interests, as well as those of your kids.
So if you need family dispute resolution services in the Ipswich & Greater Springfield QLD Region, contact us now.
Family Dispute FAQ's
Family dispute resolution is a way of helping parents resolve conflicts over parenting arrangements and the overall care of their children outside the courtroom.
The Family Law Act of 1975 heavily encourages parties to attempt Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) in parenting matters before applying to the court. So, family dispute resolution in Ipswich is recommended for parents who are separating.
However, there are circumstances where this requirement can be waived, like in cases of domestic violence.
The term dispute resolution is broad and encompasses various methods of resolving conflicts. These include private negotiation through lawyers, conciliation, mediation, FDR and arbitration.
The relevant parties can choose any of these processes or seek the court’s assistance, who can refer them to any of the dispute resolution methods.
If the process is effective and the parties reach an agreement, they do not need to go to court at all.
Under the Family Law Act, family dispute resolution is a broad term that includes both conciliation and mediation.
Mediation here refers to the process of having a neutral third party assist the parties to reach an amicable settlement. The mediator’s job is to help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution through constructive discussions and negotiation.
During this process, having a dispute resolution lawyer is necessary to ensure that your interests are protected.
Individual Sessions with a Mediator
Generally, the mediators in FDR processes are family dispute resolution practitioners. Once the parties apply for mediation, the practitioner will first speak to them individually before holding a joint session.
During the individual sessions, the mediator outlines the mediation process, informing them of the steps involved. The mediator will also attend to any concerns the parties may have regarding the procedure or his appointment.
Joint Sessions with a Mediator
After these individual sessions, the joint sessions will commence. During these sessions, the mediator will act as the intermediary between the parties. Each party can also have a legal representative or support person during these sessions.
In fact, it is advisable to go through the mediation process with a dispute resolution lawyer. Family dispute resolution lawyers help you avoid making wrong decisions and agreeing to unfavourable terms.
During these joint sessions, the parties will lay out the outstanding issues that need to be dealt with, as well as their expectations and what they hope to achieve. Using this information, the mediator draws up an agenda for the session. Each issue is then addressed, and the parties can talk freely about their thoughts on the issue.
Mediator’s Family Dispute Role
During these discussions, the mediator will help identify any other issues that need resolving and encourage each person to listen to the other’s point of view.
The mediator will also ensure that these sessions are as peaceful as possible. They will help keep the parties on track and focused on their children. The parties and the mediator can then come up with ideas on what the best solutions are, which must be in the children’s best interests.
At the end of the session, the mediator may summarise and reiterate what was discussed in an attempt to identify any possible areas of agreement that the parties can reach.
It is important to note that there may be times when it is not suitable or convenient for both parties to be in the same room.
In such cases, the mediator can go back and forth between different rooms. Typically called shuttle mediation, this method may be necessary to discuss options for negotiation and move things along.
Consent Orders Drawn Up and Signed
At the end of the mediation process, the parties should have come to an agreement on the issues raised. The mediator may then help them develop a parenting plan after ensuring that both parties understand what is agreed upon.
This parenting plan or consent order must be written, dated and signed by both parties. If necessary, it can be renegotiated later on. Remember, do not sign anything until you have had a lawyer go through the agreement.
However, what happens if the parents cannot reach an agreement?
If the mediation process is not successful, the family dispute resolution practitioner will issue a certificate, allowing the parties to make an application to a family law court. Known as the ‘Section 60I certificate,’ this document can only be issued by an accredited FDR practitioner.
Family dispute resolution has various advantages over litigation as a conflict resolution mechanism. Some of these benefits include:
- FDR is typically faster and less expensive than going to court
- The parties get to stay in control of decisions regarding their children and assets. This is as opposed to litigation, where the parties hand over the control to a judge who may not fully understand their situation.
- FDR promotes cooperation between the parties and helps them establish a healthy and amicable co-parenting relationship.
- The FDR process is focused on providing solutions that are in the best interests of the children.