Meaningful outcomes for families in conflict
There are many situations in which we may find ourselves in conflict, especially with family. Although legal disputes may seem necessary during divorce, separation, child support or even distribution of inherited property, it doesn’t always solve the problem. In some cases, legal disputes can add fuel to the fire rather than providing a solution. Family mediation takes a different approach. We assist in separating the people from the problem and provide a safe and confidential setting for families to resolve disagreements. By choosing a problem-solving approach, we can assist with getting to the root of the issue.
What is family mediation used for?
Family mediation is a way of resolving disputes between people in conflict, usually facilitated by a professionally trained mediator. When a dispute can’t be resolved by mediation, the matter may need to be taken to court. Going to court can be a long, stressful and expensive process. The aim of mediation is to avoid the situation reaching this point. Unlike court, mediation can help you stay in control and find solutions that work for both parties. The team at Meaningful Mediation focuses on making an agreement that satisfies both parties, resolving their conflict and improving their co-parenting relationship.
When is family mediation suitable?
In family law cases, both parties must make a genuine effort to resolve disputes through mediation before going to court. To hear an application for parenting or financial orders, the court must receive a certificate from an accredited dispute practitioner. Family mediation can help both parties reach an agreement on:
- Parenting disputes
- Child support issues
- Property matters
- Spousal maintenance
- Disagreements over issues relating to parental responsibility
- Aging and elderly law matters
Separated families are encouraged to use family mediation to help resolve their disputes instead of using family law courts.
What are the stages of family mediation?
Family mediation requires a nationally accredited mediator to implement impartial communication techniques. This allows both parties to focus on resolving the issues at hand. The process of family mediation includes the following stages:
- Agreement to mediate;
- The opening statements;
- Agenda setting;
- Option generation;
- Negotiation; and
This process will be discussed with each party before the mediation session begins. During the mediation, each party can speak privately with the mediator if they feel the need and the mediator will likely also check in with each party.
Do lawyers go to family mediation?
Typically, most mediation processes don’t require the parties to obtain any legal representation. Mediation is designed to help people work through conflicts without the costly services of legal proceedings. By doing so, this can avoid the uncertainty of a judicial outcome. However, regarding the divisions of property, legal advice is recommended.
What happens at family mediation and child inclusive mediation?
When you enlist our services, firstly we need to talk with parties individually to understand the situation and the issues in dispute. We do this also to determine whether mediation is the right process for each family pursuant to our requirements under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).
We will take the time to gain a better understanding of your situation and whether the issues you are confronting are suitable for family mediation. Our team will discuss any questions you may have about the process for example how long the process takes and the costs involved. If you decide that family mediation is the right option for you, we can start by an initial appointment with the initiating party before inviting the other party to mediation. Once we have determined mediation to be suitable for the parties, hwe can set a date, a venue and send you a formal Agreement to Mediate.
Our Meaningful Mediation team have worked with over 1,000 families in dispute experiencing separation, parenting and property matters. We understand how grief and loss can impact people’s co-parenting relationships and the impact this can have on children. Our priority is to facilitate an environment that allows you to discuss the sensitive issues comfortably. These sensitive issues include and are not limited to: living arrangements, care of the child, decision making, communication as co-parents, role of partners and extended family in the child’s life, interstate and overseas travel arrangements, how medical decisions will be managed, and future dispute resolution provisions.
For parenting and property disputes, after the parties have signed the agreement to mediate, the mediators at Meaningful Mediation facilitate a mediation. This can be done online and in the convenience of the parties’ homes as all parties can attend the mediation by way of skype and video conference media.
Child-inclusive mediation process
A unique offering for mediation with Meaningful Mediation is the Child Inclusive Mediation process. Meaningful Mediation has conducted 100’s of child inclusive mediation and has over 6 years experience facilitating this type of mediation. This mediation process allow the children’s voices to be heard and to allow both parties to consider the children’s views in their decisions. This often reduces further co-parenting conflict and improves each parent’s relationship with the child/children. This because they are privy to information that they would otherwise not have heard from their children, for instance “I wish mum and dad would stop fighting”, “I feel like dad has changed since he repartnered”, “I worry about how mum is coping at times”, “I wish mum and dad would stop fighting”, “Its hard when mum and dad have different routines and rules in each household”, “I don’t really like mum’s new partner”.
Consent & confidentiality
When we facilitate child inclusive mediations, we require the consent of both parents to allow a child consultant, a child psychologist to meet with the child and work with appropriately to obtain their views. After this, the child consultant then meets with the parents’ individually to discuss their respective relationship with the child.
At all times, save for the disclosure of safety concerns (i.e suicidal thoughts or allegations of harm) , all other information is kept confidential and not disclosed to the parents if that is the wish of the child. However, generally speaking children feel comfortable to talk about their world and their experience of mum and dad’s separation. The child inclusive process also allows the children’s views to be given consideration and appropriate weight.
The child-inclusive mediation session
The final stage of the next stage will be to conduct mediation. The child consultant will attend the mediation and provide information that was disclosed to them by the child. This is extremely powerful and often illuminating for the parents. The child consultant then provides recommendations from their professional expertise and experience on how best to support the child/children in respect to supporting them and parenting to promote healthy attachments, predictability, familiarity and trust in their child’s world. At the cornerstone of Meaningful Mediation work with client’s is a commitment to create clarity and purposeful action in reducing undue stress on children and co-parents.
How Meaningful Mediation can help you
We assist clients with respect to co-parenting, property settlement, grand-parenting, workplace disputes, complex issues related to aging, and elder law matters. Where mediation is deemed suitable, everything discussed during this time will be kept strictly confidential to the extent provided by law. In circumstances where parties do come to an agreement, this can be made in the form of a parenting plan for parenting matters and a draft consent order for property matters.
How can family mediation assist in the property settlement?
Mediation during property settlement is not a compulsory procedure but can assist in resolving disputes about dividing real estate, other assets, bank accounts, or child maintenance. For clients who want to reach property settlement, we look at both parties’ circumstances and how this can be achieved both justly and equitably.
We do advise that if you are proceeding with a mediation process during property settlement that you seek independent legal advice. This will ensure both parties are given appropriate advice in respect to their assets and any tax implication of settlements according to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).
Is family dispute mediation binding?
Unlike court, family dispute mediation allows both parties to come to an agreement by way of their own decisions. To conclude any settlement, all parties must voluntarily agree upon the solution. After that, they will then have the option to formalise their agreement. Family dispute mediators use specialised communication and negotiation strategies to facilitate a solution that is tailored to each family. Choosing the right mediator can provide both parties with guidance, allowing for cooperation.
Where can I find a family mediation centre?
As a part of our meaningful service, our team of mediators are experts in family law and psychology with experience in counselling. Our team of mediators are well versed to deal with all disputes specifically family divorce and separation and have consulted and worked for many Family Relationship Centres like Relationships Australia, Interrelate and Centacare. We believe in focusing on life beyond the dispute – a future without conflict and a stronger co-parenting alliance. Our mediators act impartially and support both parties by keeping them focused on the future.
If you are looking for Brisbane family law mediators or family mediation in Brisbane, we can help. We consult for family relationship centres throughout Brisbane as experienced family dispute practitioners. You may also be looking to obtain a section 60i certificate because you believe your matter will result in court proceedings. Meaningful Mediation are able to provide 60i certificates but always strive to resolve matters and put an end to conflict so parties do not need to use the 60i certificate to proceed to court.
At Meaningful Mediation, we often work with families over a period of time. We focus on comprehensive parenting plans that target both short/long term aspects of parenting. Our goal is to ensure that both parties can move on with life knowing that they were able to settle their matter with dignity and mutual respect. By choosing mediation, our clients can rebuild the trust and respect that is often damaged when family disputes occur.
Online Mediation with Meaningful Mediation
If you are looking to attend mediation, why not choose our online mediation service? At Meaningful Mediation, we are committed to offering online services for all our clients. Mediation is at times a stressful and confronting process. With everything that is going on in the world right now and health being a priority, facilitating online mediation may allow parties to feel more at ease. Online mediation is ideal if parties are unable to travel or who may have safety concerns or feel intimidated being in the same room or location as the other party. Participants can choose times that work best for them and are able to medation from anywhere. So if you’d prefer to mediation from the comfort and convenience of your own home, enquire today.
Affordable family mediation
Family mediation is considerably less expensive than going to court. Not only is it typically a more cost-effective way to resolve family disputes, but mediation can also have a quicker turnaround. In regards to family matters, a court case can take 12 to 24 months to complete. Choosing a private mediator who has legal knowledge is significantly less expensive than hiring a lawyer and proceeding to court. Particularly in family law matters, mediation can avoid the financial and emotional costs associated with going to court.
We understand that family conflict can represent a difficult period of time in your life and should not be coupled with stress or long delays for service. At Meaningful Mediation, we attend to your situation swiftly and thoroughly.
How we can help
Our services are dedicated to providing significant outcomes and helping to resolve family disputes in a professional, ethical and timely manner. Successful mediation helps both parties see beyond the dispute without putting a strain on your finances. We guide you in decision making to keep you and your family out of court. So, if you are looking for family court mediation or perhaps family law mediation, we can help. Meaningful Mediation will be by your side and ready to support you and your family deliver meaningful outcomes.
Need support? Enquire today.
As a family mediation centre, we specialise in Queensland services but also offer services in NSW, Perth, Victoria and the Gold Coast. For more information about how we could assist you, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today.