FDR is a mediation service to assist couples and families affected by separation and divorce in resolving their family law disputes. FDR is a structured process where parties who are in conflict can be supported to communicate with each other about the issues they bring to mediation and how to make decisions relevant to resolving their dispute so they can move on with their new lives. Mediation provides an opportunity for all parties involved in a dispute to take control of the conflict and play an active role in agreeing upon a resolution. Regardless of the nature of the dispute, the salvaging of relationships has resulted in mediation becoming a highly sought-after alternative to the legal system.
The Family Law Act encourages couples to resolve their difference through mediation, as it has been found to be quicker, more cost-effective and far less stressful than going to court. This also helps children manage better when it comes to moving on and settling into their new lives. The Family Law Act also states that parenting is a responsibility to be equally shared between the parents, provided that this does not put children at risk. Shared responsibility means joint decision-making when it comes to important issues relating to the children, but does not necessarily mean that children will spend equal time with both parents.
“Turning Points” Counselling Centre is a designated provider of FDR Mediation services by the Attorney General’s Department, recognising Mickey Skidmore as an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) who emphasises the facilitative process of mediation in his practice. He is a highly-skilled professional with an extensive social science background, who further enhanced his training by completed a Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution in June 2017.
The Family Law Act 1975 stipulates that FDR is now compulsory before progressing through the Family Court of Australia. Separated families who wish to resolve disputes relevant to their children (parenting matters; financial or property matters) are required to attend Family Dispute Resolution and make a genuine effort to resolve issues before they can progress through the court system. Mickey is authorised to issue s60I certificates, which are required by the Family Court of Australia.
Throughout the FDR process (and in accordance with the Family Law Act) the safety and best interests of the child/ren are the most important consideration in any decisions and agreements reached. The FDRP will ensure the focus stays on your children while you explore the issues and discuss which options may work best for both you and your family. The FDRP can also work with you to devise new strategies to minimise conflict and communicate better in the future.
The role of a mediator is not to offer or provide legal advise, but to oversee a confidential process as an impartial third party who fairly facilitates discussion and helps all parties to work towards amicable agreements that emphasise the best interests of the child/ren, without the need for Court. FDRP’s will provide parties with support to sort out issues and develop acceptable solutions, that potentially lead to mutually satisfactory agreements. FDR mediation is a highly successful process that provides the opportunity for results and allows people to reach agreements without the need for Court or expensive legal fees.
The many benefits of FDR Mediation include:
- savings in both money and time, as it is less costly and faster than the court process;
- the promotion of co-operation and communication, which enhances the ongoing parenting relationship(s);
- the provision of a structure in which future disputes can be resolved more readily;
- the individual’s control in the decision-making process is maintained as there are no imposed decisions;
- less stress/trauma than court proceedings;
- a more effective means of conflict resolution and greater longevity as people are less likely to breach agreements that they have made themselves.
The FDR process includes:
- identifying the issues which need to be resolved
- both parties listening to each tower’s point of view (without interruption)
- sharing relevant information
- exploring ideas and options
- testing possible solutions
- putting decisions and agreements in writing
A more detailed review of the FDR process can be found here.
For additional information; to discuss your matter; or to engage in your FDR Mediation process, please contact Mickey by E-mail or at 0488 969 687.