Tips for a Parenting MediationNick Richards FDRP LL.B MBA GDLP DMgmt MQLS
Based on the law you must enter into the FDR process with a view to reach an agreement, so its best to enter with a plan of coming to an agreement.
It is important to ensure that you have prepared an opening statement to clearly communicate to your former spouse why you are attending mediation and what you would like to get from the mediation. Now remember anything in FDR is confidential (subject to certain provisions) so this is where you can open up in an open environment to communicate that you want to reach an agreement.
Based on the statistics on divorce and separation in Australia and our experience in FDR, we’ve created a handy guide of things to think about when planning for your upcoming mediation. This list is not exhaustive and may not suit many people as all relationships and peoples circumstances are different, however these are the common issues that we see on a day to day basis.
Feel free to use this in preparation of your upcoming mediation with us.
- How much time should each child spend time with:
- How can this be structured?
Is this flexible?
- When changes are necessary, what timeframe of notice is reasonable?
Holiday periods and events
How will holidays be arranged?
- How can we structure time for special days?
What other days are special days to you or the children?
- How can we communicate with each other regarding the parenting of the children?
- Is there a preferred method of communication? Phone, email, parenting app, fax, SMS
- How can the children communicate with the other parent? Times, method(s)
Other family members
Is discussion needed for how the children will spend time with other family members?
How can we facilitate our children’s participation in their activities?
- How will changeovers work?
- How will transportation between activities work?
- What are our children’s:
Current needs for schooling?
Future needs for schooling?
- What type of school de we wish for the children to attend? Public, private, religious, non-denominational
- What level of involvement will we have in school activities?
- How will we manage communication about and from the children’s school?
- How will homework, assignments and projects be managed?
- How will the following costs be shared:
Day to day and period costs
Miscellaneous educational costs
- Will Child Support payments be taken into account?
- Should we discuss annual increases? e.g. CPI index
- How and by whom will the children be fed?
- Will we share the responsibility for washing the children’s clothes?
- Will the children’s belongings be shared between the households?
- Are there any other issues that require discussion?
- What decisions require joint consultation?
- How will these discussions be facilitated?
- If we disagree, how will we resolve? Mediation session?
- Is there a way to discuss these decisions regularly? Weekly, Monthly
- Should the children be included in these discussions?
- Should we review our method every now and then and how should we do this?
- Is there anything else to discuss about joint decisions?
- Do we need consider the care of the children in the event of both our deaths?
- Do we need to amend our wills?
- Do we need to discuss any other matters that will benefit the children?
Divorce and Separation
Physical and mental health of the children
Dietary needs of children
Personal Values, Beliefs & Principles
Spiritual and Religion
Consider possible outcomes
- What is the best outcome?
- What is the worst outcome?
- How do you expect the court to deal with the property should you not settle privately?
I have sought legal advice from an Australian legal practitioner regarding undertaking the FDR process and making agreements? Yes No
I have sought financial advice from a qualified financial advisor regarding financial arrangements? Yes No
NOTE: The above is not legal advice it is for informational purposes only.