What Are the Steps of Family Mediation?Nick Richards FDRP LL.B MBA GDLP DMgmt MQLS
The process of family mediation is a successfully structured framework
One party will reach out to a mediator detailing some of their concerns and their attempts at a resolution. The mediator will ask questions to get a better understanding of the dispute and the parties involved.
The mediator will invite the party to a formal consultation, where all information will be discussed in detail.
Invitation to mediate
The mediator will send an invitation to mediate to the other party from the initiating party. This invitation will generally include the following information:
- Background and qualifications of the mediator.
- Background of the practice.
- Why they are receiving the invitation.
- What mediation is.
- How mediation can assist.
- The process of mediation.
- Costs involved.
- The law with regard to their attendance.
- How they can book their consultation.
- When their response is required by.
Engagement by the other party
The mediator will conduct a formal consultation, where all information will be discussed in detail, which is the same process as the initiating party.
Setting of the date
The mediator will set a date and forward all session details in addition to a link for payment to the parties. When payment has been received, the mediation date is confirmed and locked in.
Once the parties have confirmed the date, the mediator will contact each party and request they complete some worksheets prior to the mediation. The mediator will listen to and assist the parties with their opening statements and their proposed options for the other party.
The mediation conference is conducted as follows:
- The mediator opens the conference with an opening statement;
- Party A communicates their opening statement to Party B;
- The mediator summaries Party A’s concerns to Party B;
- Party B communicates their opening statement to Party A;
- The mediator summaries Party B’s concerns to Party A;
- The mediator confirms with both parties whether their concerns have been raised;
- The mediator prepares an agenda of topics based on each parties concerns;
- The mediator asks each party to choose in order of importance of each point;
- Each party communicates their concerns with each other on each point;
- The mediator assists the parties ensuring they are communicating effectively towards resolution;
- The mediator assists the parties in creating options of resolution;
- The mediator assists the parties with considering some challenges that the options may impose;
- The mediator assists the parties with developing agreements that are sustainable’
- The mediator drafts the written agreement detailing agreement met between the parties.
- Each party signs the agreement.
Some parties may wish to continue engagement with their mediator from time to time when adjusting their parenting plan over time.
The process of family mediation is quick, cheap, and effective. Parties are enabled to work with the other party towards developing mutually accepted and sustainable agreements, reducing stress, and frustration, and alleviating the uncertainty of parenting after separation.
NOTICE: The above is not legal advice and it is recommended that you obtain tailored legal advice related to your own personal circumstances from an Australian legal practitioner.