There are four steps in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).
Step 1 – Pre-Mediation & Assessment Interview
Before a mediation can be held Liz will need to make a professional decision about whether mediation is appropriate for your family at this point in time. The factors that she needs to take into account in making this decision are set out in legislation - you can view the relevant regulation here. Liz will make a decision about appropriateness of FDR after holding a Pre-Mediation & Assessment Interview with each person. This interview is also an opportunity for you to find out more about how FDR works. These interviews last for 60-90 minutes.
Step 2 – Inviting the other person (or people) to participate
After your Pre-Mediation & Assessment Interview Liz will write to the other person (or people) to invite them to participate in FDR with you. When they contact Liz she will arrange a Pre-Mediation & Assessment Interview for them. If you want to speed things up you can suggest to the other person (or people) that they contact Liz to arrange their appointment without waiting for her letter of invitation (or even before you have your Pre-Mediation & Assessment Interview).
Step 3 – Mediation
After all parties have had a Pre-Mediation & Assessment Interview Liz will book a mediation. Everyone will attend the mediation (although you may be in separate rooms for some or all of the mediation). This appointment will be for a maximum of four hours. Liz will meet with each party privately for 15 minutes before and after the mediation. The mediation itself will be a maximum of three hours long. Liz limits mediations to three hours because having challenging conversations is tiring and people make better decisions when they are energised. Liz is able to conduct multiple mediations with a family if more than three hours of mediation is required.
Step 4 – Issue of a s60I certificate (if required)
If you are wanting to discuss issues about children and the issues can’t be resolved in FDR then you might want Liz to issue a ‘s60I certificate’ (the certificate required by the Family Law Courts to verify that FDR has been attempted prior to the filing of an application for Court orders in relation to children).
Liz will be able to issue a s60I certificate earlier in the process if one person is not willing to participate in FDR, or if she makes a professional decision that FDR is not appropriate for your family at this point in time.
Liz is available to conduct Pre-Mediation & Assessment Interviews, and Mediations, during normal business hours on Mondays and Fridays.