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  • What is family dispute resolution?
    Family Dispute Resolution is the legal term for family mediation that help couples affected by separation and divorce sort out their disputes. Family Dispute Resolution can help you agree on matters relating to property, money, and, most importantly – your children. Family Dispute Resolution is mediation, not counselling and personalised to meet your circumstances. Mediation, when successful, removes the need for court and keeps legal costs to a minimum.
  • My relationship with my ex is so bad I can't see how mediation will be successful.
    This isn't uncommon. If it is required, Adelaide Family Mediation provides services in separate rooms. The mediator will go back and forth between the parties and work on an agreement until it gets done. Family mediators do this for a living and are skilled at dealing with couples experiencing high levels of conflict. Mediators stress the importance of putting aside personal issues and are very good at redirecting focus back to the topic that matters - if the parties get off track.
  • Is family dispute resolution compulsory?
    Before applying to the court for a decision on finances or parenting, most people must attend mediation with an accredited mediator. The family court is expected to be the last resort after all other failed settling attempts. Adelaide Family Mediation starts the process with an Intake and Assessment session. This allows you to determine what mediation is about and if it suits your circumstances. We explore the matter you have to consider to achieve divorce or separation before taking part in mediation. If, after attending your Intake and Assessment meeting, you want to go on to try mediation and you both agree this is the right course of action, we will organise a joint mediation meeting. Our mediators will help you use the mediation meeting in the most comfortable way for you and your circumstances, in-person, in the same room, online or in separate rooms. You can discuss how you would like to proceed with the mediator. Most people will reach an agreement in mediation. Still, if you are one of the small number unable to resolve your conflicts, then the mediator can issue you a Section 60I certificate for you to continue to make an application to the court.
  • Are things said during mediation confidential?
    Yes, everything you say during mediation is confidential and cannot be used in court. Confidentiality is only waived when matters of a serious or criminal nature arise.
  • What about my legal representation and advice?
    You can get legal advice at any step during the mediation process over the phone or on breaks, and sometimes lawyers may be allowed into the room if the mediator determines it is appropriate. Your mediator will talk to both parties in advance about lawyers being present.
  • How long are the sessions?
    Intake sessions take up to an hour, and each mediation session is booked for a two-hour or four-hour block. Make sure you allow enough time to park and prepare for the meeting.
  • How can I be assured the process is fair?
    Either party can stop the mediation process at any time; mediation will only go ahead if both of you want it. Mediators are impartial. The mediator does not take sides and is always there for both of you. Mediators don't give advice, although they share information about legal principles and explain some of the things you should be thinking about. The mediator doesn't ever make any decisions for you; you work out what proposals you think you would like to take to lawyers so that you can get advice and help before turning your proposals into a legally binding agreement.
  • What happens if I change my mind after mediation?
    You are not expected to sign anything on the day and will have an opportunity to review your draft agreement and seek external advice before signing. If you require amendments to the agreement, you can contact your mediator, and we will discuss what this means moving forward. At the end of the mediation process, your mediator will explain how to turn your agreement into a legally binding agreement or a court order, which usually includes getting legal advice.
  • What sort of things will I be expected to do in mediation?
    After signing the agreement to mediate, both of you will work with the mediator to: ​ Explain your family situation. Set the mediation agenda. The mediation sessions are tailored around what you want and need to discuss. Agree on the issues that you need to discuss. Decide the priority of the issues. Some issues are more pressing than others and need to be resolved first, e.g., short-term financial support, holidays, contact. Set time scales to deal with certain matters, e.g., for separation or divorce. Clarify the issues: sometimes, it is not certain what matters are really in dispute, and clarifying these avoids future misunderstanding. Consider whether any other specialists might be able to help you. Find common ground. Provide/obtain information, e.g., complete a financial questionnaire or have a form explained to you. If you have economic issues to discuss, it is imperative to make sure everyone has a detailed picture of the family's financial situation. This involves each of you providing details about any property you own, and your income and expenditure, very much as you have to if you go to court. Look at the various options and reality test those options. When there are financial issues, you will need to consider what everyone in the family needs, especially the children. Arrive at the option that best suits both of you and work out the details of your proposals.
  • Does Adelaide Family Mediation offer online mediation?
    Sometimes face to face mediation is not possible, or a viable means for mediation. Adelaide Family Mediation offers our clients an online mediation solution. ​A Family Dispute Practitioner will use webcam-enabled online mediation to assist separating couples develop a parenting plan and/or and resolve financial matters. ​ Online mediation is a confidential process with the same principles as face to face mediation. ​It is a great alternative for separating clients that live in different states, are worried about safety or are to busy to attend.
  • Does Adelaide Family Mediation have a privacy policy?
    We are committed to maintaining your privacy. Please read our privacy policy to see how and why we collect certain information, store and dispose of information and confidentiality.
  • Can I record the session?
    The mediator will terminate the mediation if you are suspected of or insist on recording any part of the session. You must agree that the process is confidential, and what is said in the mediation session will not be reported to outside parties or non-parties to the matter.
  • What does inadmissibility mean?
    Communications made in mediation are not admissible in any court or proceedings in any jurisdiction under section 10J of the Family Law Act 1975. Additionally, a communication made when professional consultation is managed on referral from a mediator is also inadmissible in any court or proceedings in any jurisdiction.
  • What is parenting coordination?
    Parenting Coordination is a child-centred process for conflicted divorced and divorcing parents. It is a dispute resolution technique to help parents organise their ongoing parenting arrangements before, during and after they have reached their final Court Orders. The family's post-separation progress is monitored through education, mediation and case management to help parents ensure the best outcome for their children.
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