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Advanced Mediation Solutions

DISPUTE RESOLUTION PRACTITIONERS

Online Conferencing Australia wide

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What is Family Dispute Mediation?
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FDR Mediation is a structured negotiation process where an independent qualified FDRM Practitioner, assists each party to identify, explore, and assess their options for taking care of their children and to settle any disputes regarding property matters.

If you have separated and are unable come to an agreement regarding your children or property matters you have options available to end the dispute and document the outcome.

Family Dispute Resolution Mediation allows both parties to resolve the outstanding matters and document them without going to the Family Law Court. You can then elect to formalise the parenting plan and lodge a consent order with the assistance of a FDRM Practitioner and your Family Lawyer.

or

You may decide to have an independent arbitrator or court determine how the dispute is to be resolved.  The process is documented and the arbitrator or court makes a binding decision or order.


​​What are the benefits of family dispute mediation?

Family Dispute mediation has many benefits for all parties included in your child/ren's lives. 

Mediation is:
  1. a safe and confidential environment to negotiate.
  2. less expensive than negotiating through Lawyers.
  3. where both parties have control over the outcomes of the process.
  4. private and confidential.  However where threats of violence against yourself or other parties are made and/or allegations of child abuse FDRM Practitioners' are bound by law to report the matter to the appropriate authorities.
  5. able to assist in building communication between both parties to benefit the health and well being of the child/ren.
  6. able to assist you with putting together a "live" workable parenting plan and give you the opportunity to review it as your children reach different developmental stages and milestones in their live/s.
  7. less intimidating and less formal than attending court.
  8. a faster outcome and less expensive than being represented through court.
  9. able to assist in discussing matters in a positive and objective manner to preserve goodwill between the parties.
  10. focussed on future outcomes for the child/ren and the logistics required to meet these.
  11. effective in building skills to manage co-parenting successfully. ​

​Do I have to attend mediation?

It is a requirement of the Family Law Act 1975 that separating couples (either married or defacto) who have children must complete family dispute mediation before filing an application for parenting orders with the family court system.  It also includes those parents who are seeking changes to an existing parenting order.   Magistrates may also require parents to attend court ordered mediation. 
 
There are a few exceptions to this requirement, such as:
some cases involving family violence, child abuse or urgency, a person is unable to participate effectively or a person has shown a serious disregard for a court order made in the last 12 months. A suitably qualified and registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner will discuss any concerns you may have and assess if it is safe for you and your ex partner to attend mediation and suggest a method that will suit the situation.

We provide extensive domestic violence screening and emergency planning processes to provide additional assistance through government and community funded programs.

If you are experiencing domestic violence and feel that you are not safe now please call 000 immediately.  Counselling regarding domestic violence is available 24 hours, 7 days a week through 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.


Is mediation private and confidential?

We only collect information relevant to the performance of our mediation activities. This information will include contact details, certain types of personal information, such as family members, family court lawyers, and financial details.

Information will be collected directly from you or, in certain cases, your solicitor. If we are required to gain further information we will ask your consent and have you complete an authority to release information form so that we can work co-operatively within our community networks to provide support for you and your family. 
  
Your information may also be required in fulfilling our legal and statutory requirements. 
 
Mandatory reporting of personal and child safety matters require Advanced Mediation Solutions to release your personal information to related health and other service providers, and in the case of children to provide information to the Department of Children’s Services with or without your expressed permission.


What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan outlines all access, financial arrangements, and logistics for raising your child/ren in a cooperative manner.  All aspects of the children's physical and psychological  welfare are documented and agreed between you and your ex-partner.
Parenting plans must meet the Family Law Act requirements regarding what is in the best interest of the child/ren.

Once the parenting plan is complete both parties are required to sign the agreement before it becomes binding.  Once the parenting plan is agreed and signed it will need to be updated from time to time to suit the developmental needs of the child/ren.  If you have a signed working parenting agreement there is no requirement for you and your former partner to go to court.
Parenting agreements must accompany applications for consent orders or to make changes to existing parenting orders.



The mediation process

The mediation process commences with each party attending an individual intake meeting to discuss their children and identify the agenda items which need to be negotiated and documented.  

Once both parties agree to attend mediation and have signed an agreement to mediate the mediation conferences can begin.  Both parties will discuss each item on the parenting plan, identify the developmental needs for each child, and negotiate the logistics around access and parental responsibilities.  

As each matter is agreed upon it is then documented in the parenting plan and a shared access calendar is formulated.


What does mediation cost?

We understand that separation and re-establishing your life is expensive so we endeavour to provide parents with the tools and knowledge to build better communication and negotiation skills.

Both parents are encouraged to use these tools to discuss agenda matters outside the mediation conferences and to document their agreements and concerns for discussion at the next conference.  This allows for a more expedient process, better outcomes, and a more cost effective outcome.  Our fee schedule clearly identifies all of the costs associated with performing mediation.



Is it safe to mediate if domestic violence is involved?

Domestic and family violence happens when one person in a relationship uses violence or abuse to control the other person. Domestic and family violence is usually an ongoing pattern of behaviour aimed at controlling a partner through fear. 

The Queensland Government website can help you with useful information including how to get help or how to support those experiencing domestic violence

Mediation can go ahead if a domestic violence order allows for this to happen.  The order will specify if the parties are able to attend mediation or not.  We will ask you to bring a copy of the order with you.

We have the facilities to enable mediation to progress safely without both parties being in the same room at the same time.  There are no disadvantages to either party if face to face mediation can not be achieved.

For more information regarding domestic violence orders  visit https://www.courts.qld.gov.au.

If you are experiencing domestic violence now please ring 000.

If you require further assistance with domestic violence in the Townsville area please contact the North Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Resource Service on (07) 4721 2888.



What is a consent order?

Once both parties have reached agreement about parenting and/or financial/property arrangements and have a signed parenting plan an application can be made with the Family Court of Australia for consent orders.

A consent order formalises the agreement and makes it legally binding.  Consent orders can also be used to vary or discharge existing family law orders.

The Family Law Act requires the courts to regard the best interests of a child as the most important consideration when making parenting orders.  The court has to be satisfied that the agreement is just and equitable and/or in the best interests of the child/ren before they will endorse a consent order.



At Advanced Mediation Solutions we believe education is advantageous to both parties when negotiating a parenting agreement and assists you to tailor make your plan to suit your child/ren's developmental needs. 
 
We are currently updating our library with interesting and thought provoking articles, developmental and behavioural information from birth through to early adulthood, conflict and its effects on you and your children.  You can also follow our Facebook page for new articles and you tube videos on our topics.



Advanced Mediation Solutions are a child focussed practice ensuring the developmental needs of the child/ren are at the forefront of any negotiations.

We can also assist you to negotiate property settlement matters and assist with preparing consent orders for filing with the family law court.
  
Our mediators are independent facilitators who are nationally accredited practitioners registered with the Attorney General's Department. We maintain current practicing memberships with the Resolution Institute our industry association.



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