Mediator Facilitated Negotiation
This service is for people who have not been successful in reaching a resolution in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). It is also suitable for people who have not been able to participate in Family Dispute Resolution because the other person refused or the FDR service decided that FDR was not appropriate due to a history of Family Violence or High Conflict.
Mediator Facilitated Negotiation is a form of High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution. It is facilitated by a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner who is still a neutral third party who is able to speak directly and work with you both to negotiate a resolution without being on either of your “side”. That means that they understand and are working towards both parties genuine interests (what is really important to you) and the interests of your children rather than the more traditional lawyer negotiation where a lawyer representing one party puts proposals to the other under threat of family court.
Do you have a s60i Certificate?
You can still try to negotiate an agreement and avoid going to court even if another Family Dispute Resolution Service has issued a Section 60i Certificate.
Just because you can go to court for parenting orders that doesn’t mean that is your only or best option.
Are you already in the Family Court?
It can be many months between court appearances and lawyers may be reluctant to negotiate on your behalf during the process.
If you want a resolution and are not getting support for that contact us to find out if Mediator Facilitated Negotiation is an option.
The first step in the Mediator Facilitated Negotiation is always a detailed personal history and safety planning discussion.
Clients come into this service with some history of claimed or proven family violence or abuse. We need to make sure that our intervention will not make a bad situation worse and so reserve the right to determine if we will work with your family on a case by case basis.
Safety First SessionsPhone or Video Meetings
- Fee is paid by the person requesting the service and includes risk screening and preparation sessions with both people.
- Includes contacting the other person to explain the process and discuss any safety concerns they have
- basic preparation for both participants to understand the process, their rights and obligations under family law and the benefits of engaging in negotiation rather than going straight to court.
Proposal PreparationPhone or Video Meetings from any location
- The process of preparing a proposal may be done over one session or various until you have a clear, realistic and appropriate (within the realms of Australian Family Law) proposal to put to the other person.
- Your practitioner will document your proposal for you in preparation for presenting it to the other person.
- They will clarify with you what information you approve them sharing with the other party. Please be aware that you have full disclosure obligations under family law in financial negotiations and a failure to disclose could mean that any agreement reached is unenforceable or not legally binding.
Negotiation StagePresenting proposals and responses
- This stage of the process involves presenting your proposal to the other person and getting a response or counter offer from them.
- If there is a counter offer or agreement that will be presented and documented
- If there is no agreement that will be communicated and the reasons for why the proposal is unacceptable will be discussed
- Depending on the situation the proposal may be refined or re-drafted and the process began again
Why use Mediator Facilitated Negotiation?
The benefits of a Mediator Facilitated Negotiation
If you have not been able to mediate directly with the other person then you are probably moving rapidly towards going to court. Family Court is a difficult and expensive way of getting orders regarding parenting or property.
You may end up spending tens of thousands of dollars or more without getting any sort of result and you will see an escalation of conflict and distrust between you and your former partner.
For less than $1,000 using Mediator Facilitated Negotiation you can put a well crafted proposal to your ex and get a response back that gives you a good understanding of where you stand. In many cases you will be able to reach a compromise and move towards an agreement that is workable and acceptable to you both.
If you go to court you are likely to end up with a compromise agreement too but that will usually be when you are running out of money and desperate to get out of the court. Only 15% of Family Court Matters go to a final trial. The rest get Orders by Consent which are often reached under pressure and don’t really work for either party.
Who is Mediator Facilitated Negotiation for?
Mediator Facilitated Negotiation is for you if …
You cannot communicate directly with the other person due to a family violence order or because they refuse direct communication with you.
As long as you have their contact details and the Intervention Order permits negotiation by a mediator the service can help.
Our practitioner will help you to identify the issues for negotiation (parenting and/or property), develop and put proposals and facilitate the negotiation of the terms of any agreement reached.
While our practitioners are family law professionals they will not be providing you with independent legal advice during this process. Their role is as a neutral facilitator who will help you to clarify and develop a proposal, will help you to reality test what you are asking against the likelihood of your proposal being accepted and most importantly be able to speak directly to the other person to explain your motivation in making the request that you do.
They have an obligation towards the safety of your children and will raise any issues or concerns with either you or the authorities if children are being subject to abuse or neglect.
It is designed to help resolve issues when mediation has failed and the only other alternative is to go to family court. It can also be used to deal with practical issues while working your way through the family court system.