Family Dispute Resolution

Karen Phillip is a registered Family Dispute Resolution and Mediation Practitioner with the Federal Attorney General’s Department. Find me on the Australian Attorney General’s FDRP Website
Family Mediation is used to resolve living arrangements for children after the Parents have decided to separate. Parenting Plans are drawn up so all parties have clear directives and information on where and when the children reside, who they spend time with, education issues, health issues, etc.
These Plans are done by consent of both parties. They are organised within an environment that is non-threatening, friendly and understanding. No sides are taken; both parties are given ample opportunity to voice their desires and concerns. Mediation reduces conflict that often escalates due to Court.
The Mediation is usually undertaken over a 2 hour period , where both parties agree on arrangements. The Parenting Plans are drawn up by the Mediator, and when agree with, they sign the papers and exchange agreements.If either Parent wishes to file the Parenting Plans in the Family Court they can do so, this makes them a court enforced document.
The Family Court of Australia has ruled that Parenting Plans MUST be Mediated , they are not to be heard in a Court unless there are Violence or Abuse issues connected with the matter.
Family Relationship Centers can attend to these Plans however there is usually a 3 to 4 month wait, 3 separate interview sessions required, a parent course must be attended and a fee payable.

With this private and professional Mediation, a 2 – 3 hour session resolves most issues. Matters can usually be heard and dealt with quickly so parents can both continue to spend time with their children after separation. This enables parents to move forward in their lives without the concern of when they may see their children.

Appointments can usually be made within a 1 week time frame. Appointment times are flexible with after hours available plus weekends if necessary.

Both parties are asked to bring with them to the Mediation meeting, their ‘wish’ list. This enables the Mediator to determine agreement areas to fast track Mediation and concentrate on those areas where Parents may not yet agree.

The Mediation follows Family Law Legislation to ensure both parties and the children receive fair and equitable Parenting Plans. It is required the best interest of the children are met.

Basic property arrangements can also be attended to, usually within the same meeting, and this can include division of property, assets, superannuation, vehicles and bank accounts. If you are (or have been) married or in a defacto relationship, all assets are the belonging of both partners regardless of whose name any asset is in. Same applies to liability or debt, regardless of whose name it is in, the liability belongs to both partners.

If Mediation is unable to progress or either party fails to mediate matters, then the Mediator can issue a form 60I Certificate so the matter may proceed to the Family Court where a magistrate will rule on arrangements.

Mediation includes a 2 – 3 hour Mediation meeting between the parties and Mediator, the written parenting plan which can then be filed in the Family Court to become Consent Orders if the parents wish to pursue this avenue. This is also discussed during Mediation.

Please contact Karen Phillip via email on karendp@bigpond.net.au or call 0418-216-836 for details, fees and appointment times. Karen will then contact the other party to arrange a time suitable to both parents. This way parties do not have to be in direct contact with each other outside of mediation if their relationship is strained or difficult.

Find me on the Australian Attorney General’s FDRP Website