Murdoch Mediations Services

Mediation

Family Law Mediation is a method of settlement, in which a qualified independent person (“the Mediator”) assists parties (typically Husband and Wife or De Facto partners) in resolving conflict and financial and/or parenting matters arising from the breakdown of a marriage or relationship. Such method can help the parties come to a resolution without the need of the Courts.

Are the agreements reached at the Mediation binding at law?

Agreements reached at Mediation are only binding if the parties wish for them to be binding. The Mediator will assist the parties to document the outcome in a “Heads of Agreement” document, which comprises both matters that have been agreed.

If the parties wish, they can redraft the agreement into a lawfully binding document on the advices of their lawyers or accountants.

What information is required for Mediation?

It is a good idea to provide the Mediator with some detail as to the issues at dispute that you would like resolved. With such information, the Mediator can then particularise for each party the exact information they will need to gather and provide at mediation, noting such information and documentation will assist discussions relating to the issues at dispute. Such documentation is required to be provided to the Mediation prior to the commencement of Mediation.

Our process

  1. Initial Contact
  • Contact us to book your Mediation
  1. Engagement
  • We will send the Mediation Agreement and supporting documentation to both parties
  • We will arrange for intake sessions to occur for both parties
  1. Documentation provided to Mediator
  • Your Mediator will advise, during your intake sessions, as to what documentation you will be required to provide. Such documentation needs to be provided in advance to the commencement of Mediation
  1. Mediation occurs
  • Both parties (and their solicitors) will meet the Mediator at the arranged time and date to negotiate a resolution
  • Should an agreement be reached, the Mediator will assist in documenting said Agreement

Family Dispute Resolution

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a process by which people who are in conflict can be supported to communicate with each other about what is important for them and how to make decisions relevant to resolving their dispute. FDR is essentially a special type of mediation for helping separating families to come to their own agreements. During FDR families will discuss the issues in dispute and consider different options.

FDR uses a neutral and accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioner (FDRP). A FDRP is trained in resolving disputes relating to families, children, finance or property matters.

In relation to disputes regarding the arrangements for children, there is a requirement that parties attend Family Dispute Resolution prior to seeking the assistance of the Court. Situations involving family violence, child abuse or extremely urgent matters are exempt from Family Dispute Resolution.

The family dispute resolution process involves:

  • identifying the issues which need to be resolved;
  • both parties listening to each other’s point of view without interruption;
  • sharing relevant information;
  • exploring ideas and options;
  • testing possible solutions;
  • putting decisions and agreements in writing.

Having the opportunity to attend FDR and the possibility of reaching an agreement with the other party offers many advantages including but not limited to:

  • Significantly reduced financial and emotional cost than that associated with Court proceedings;
  • The opportunity to preserve your relationship with the other party by avoiding the intervention of the Court;
  • The opportunity to improve communications with the other party, opening a door to better resolve disputes in the future; and
  • Parties are the authors of their own destiny – you and the other party are able to work together to tailor an agreement suitable to your particular circumstances.

Our Process

We believe every separating family is unique. We aim to provide a family dispute resolution process that is tailored to meet the needs of the family that we are working with. This means that whilst some of the preliminary steps in our process will largely remain the same, we can tailor joint session/s that take into account the need to gather additional information such as a Family Report. We can include trusted professionals, such as the family accountant in the process. Joint sessions can also take place over a period of time, to take into account the changing circumstances of the separating family.

Generally, our process will include the following:

  1. Initial Contact
  • Contact us to discuss your situation.
  1. Information Gathering
  • We will issue the appropriate invitations to seek the agreement of the parties to attend FDR.
  1. Engagement
  • Once we receive confirmation from all parties that they are in agreement to attend, we will arrange for an initial meeting for each party with the FDRP to discuss the issues to be resolved and the FDR process generally.
  1. Documentation provided to Mediator
  • The FDRP might request certain documents to be provided to them prior to FDR going ahead. The FDRP will advise you during your initial individual meeting as to what documentation you may like to provide. Such documentation generally needs to be provided in advance to the joint FDR session.
  1. Joint FDR session
  • Both parties (and their solicitors, if applicable) will meet the FDRP on the arranged time and date to attempt to negotiate a resolution;
  • Should an agreement be reached, the FDRP may assist in documenting such agreement;
  • If necessary, further joint sessions can be arranged.
  1. Issue section 60I Certificate
  • If required, a section 60I Certificate can be issued, upon the request of either party.

Section 60I Certificates

A registered FDRP (practitioner) can issue a section 60I Certificate at any stage in the process. It might be that after meeting with each of the parties individually that the FDRP considers that the matter is not appropriate to progress to a joint FDR session. The FDRP may issue a certificate to this effect, at this stage.

In the event that one party is not willing to attend FDR, a certificate can be issued that confirms that one party declined the invitation to attend FDR.

If the parties proceed to a joint FDR session the FDRP may be requested to issue a certificate regardless of whether the parties reach agreement. A certificate is able to be used for the purposes of a Court application for a period of twelve months from the date that FDR was last attempted.

Contact Information

Direct Line: 07 4616 9848