Mediation

Separated families seeking parenting and property plans…

 

• LEGAL COSTS CAN CRIPPLE
• AVOID LENGTHY & COSTLY LITIGATION

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Choose Mediation & create healthy Parenting Plans
Positive co-parenting =
 HAPPY CHILDREN!! 

Introduction

Welcome to Get A Grip Youth & Community Services (Mediation).

Purpose of Get A Grip Mediation:

To mitigate against excessive costs associated with separation, divorce, court orders and lawyers fees

…by providing an impartial mediation service for motivated parents who are seeking the opportunity to develop workable parenting plans (and property plans)

…resulting in positive and safe experiences for children.

My name is Jayne Miller and I am an accredited mental health Social Worker and registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, working in my own private service, Get A Grip Youth & Community Services.

Service provision can be flexible and is provided locally within Queensland as well as via a remote service throughout Australia.

As you are no doubt aware, the Court provides an opportunity for co-parents to attend mediation as a way of giving you the opportunity to reach important decisions about your children. However, if decisions cannot be reached or there are wellbeing matters concerning your children or co-parent, your matter may be referred back to the Court.

The following outlines what you may expect during your family dispute resolution process. This will include; my role, confidentiality and the limits to confidentiality, as well as other important areas for you to consider. It is important to consider seeking legal independent advice before attending mediation with your co-parent as well as gaining other advice from government agencies such as Centrelink, financial advisors and practical support services.

Description of Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner role (FDRP)

My role as your Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner will be to provide you with a safe environment and act as a neutral third party to the mediation process. This process is confidential and the information cannot be used as part of the Court process. There are however, limitations to confidentiality and neutrality, which I will explain further below.

My role as your FDRP provides you with an opportunity for improved communication, to be on a better path with your co-parent and identify whether there is actually any conflict. It can also provide parents with an opportunity to both be in charge of decisions related to your children rather than a Court deciding for you. Many parents reach successful outcomes as a result of mediation and save themselves thousands of dollars in the process.

The main focus of mediation is for you both to reach decisions that meet the best interests of your children and it is their interests that will be held as my primary focus. My role will be to facilitate this process not to make decisions for you. I understand that there may be emotional issues linked to you and your co-parent, however I am not able to focus on those issues in mediation or act in the capacity of counsellor. I can however, refer you or your co parent to other support services at any stage of the process.

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Violence and Power Imbalance


My role is to facilitate a discussion around best interests for your children, not to promote one or the other persons’ point of view or to provide you with legal information. Decisions for your children reached during mediation will be as a result of both parties reaching a decision. You will be given the opportunity to invite a support person/advocate to the mediation meeting, however agreement by both parties will need to be reached ahead of each session.
As a result of mediation, my role is to either 1) provide a copy of your agreed and signed Parenting Plan which can be presented to Court and made into a Parenting Order or Consent Order or 2) if not successful to provide a copy of a 601 Certificate to the Court indicating that decisions were unable to be reached.

The FDR Process 

Intake – brief Information Session

Assessment Process (completed individually)

Education sessions (optional) – effects of separation on children

Child Consultancy (optional) – ascertaining the voice of the child

Mediation Session (3 hours)

Revised Parenting Plan sessions (optional)

The FDR process involves initial discussions with both parties often over the telephone, followed by individual sessions, outlining the FDR process in more details and gathering important information to assess suitability for mediation.

In preparation for mediation, you are encouraged to involve other professional parties in relation to gathering legal information that may impact your decisions. You will also be offered referral pathways and education sessions which we believe are an important part of the process for parents. Many parents report the benefits of taking the time to understand the effects of separation for their children. The mediation session will involve you and your co-parent so it is important that issues of power imbalance are highlighted, along with any historical legal or important current information. It is important that when completing paperwork you provide correct information.

The family law legislation states that both parents have a responsibility to provide for their children, this may not mean the same amount of time equally divided between the children, however that both parents have say in the raising of their children. Both parents also have a right to have meaningful involvement in the lives of their children, however the paramount issue is the wellbeing of your children and their protection from any harm. In other words, your children’s welfare will be the most important focus of mediation. It is important that information required throughout the process is provided with complete honesty, such as matters of family violence.

Confidentiality and associated Limitations

I am bound by the Confidentiality guidelines of Get A Grip Youth & Community Services as well as the Family Law Act 1975. You are assured of a confidential service with all information provided by you stored in locked files. Evidence of anything said in a mediation session provided under the Family Law Act 1975 cannot be admitted as evidence in any court or tribunal in any proceedings.

It is important for you to realise that there Limits to Confidentiality which apply when an FDRP has serious concerns about the safety of you, anyone else or their property as well as reporting serious concerns of suspected child abuse to a prescribed child welfare authority. State laws throughout Australia require that if there is reason to suspect a child is experiencing harm, or is at risk of experiencing harm, contact must be made with Child Safety Services.

Other legal aspects

Section 65C of the Family Law Act states that there are a range of parties that can apply for a Parenting Order; 1) either or both of a child’s parents, 2) the child, 3) A grandparent of the child and 4) any person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child. The Family Law legislation clearly states that we must act in the best interests of children, putting secure arrangements in place for children as soon as possible after separation.

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Fees – Mediation Services

Process provided by Get A Grip Youth & Community Services as a private provider of Family Dispute Resolution.

Referrals welcome from parents, agencies or legal representatives (contact: Jayne Miller on 0421279857) or email: jayne@get-a-grip.com.au or via booked appointment.
Party B will be invited immediately after referral received from Party A via letter, telephone discussion, booked appointment or email.

  1. Intake (no charge)
    • brief Information Session with Party A and Party B individually or together
    • both parties are provided with general information and referral pathways in relation to process and suitability for mediation
  2. Assessment process ($150)
    • conducted via telephone or booked appointment
      Please allow 1 ½ hours for assessment process.

      • Please Note: If Party B (non-initiated party) does not wish to proceed with the family dispute resolution process a 60i Certificate can be issued or referred to other local mediation services. Case is then closed with Get A Grip Mediation Services.
      • If Party A wishes to use services of Get A Grip for counselling, case can be opened under General Counselling services.
      • Child Consultancy (optional) – ($150)
        Child Consultancy is offered as part of the family dispute resolution process at Get A Grip Youth & Community Services. This requires the consent from the child/ren and both parents.                                                    

        Please Note: Child Consultancy is also offered to other mediation services. This requires the consent from the child/ren and both parents.  Please contact service to discuss fees.

      • Education Sessions ($150) – optional
        Effects of separation on children 
  3. Mediation Session ($1,000) – parents often share the cost
    • Venue; Both to agree on venue prior to commencement of joint session. If one party is not comfortable with venue, an alternative will be sourced.
    • Please allow approximately 3 hours
    • Payment must be deposited into bank account of Get A Grip Youth & Community Service bank prior to mediation session commencing
  4. Revised Parenting Plans ($150) – optional
    • Parents are welcome to book further sessions in order to discuss revising their parenting plan. Some families choose the Child Consultancy option at this time to ascertain the views of their children.

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Property Plans

Please feel free to discuss your plans for property settlement at any time during the process.

Some families choose to complete Parenting Plans and Property Plans at the same time. We are happy to discuss reduced fees for combining this service or completing this service at a later date or a brief property session outlining process and required information  or refer you to a suitable local legal services.

We look forward to working with you.

For further information please contact me on 0421 279 857 / jayne@get-a-grip.com.au or click here

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Jayne Miller
Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner
Accredited Mental Health Social Worker