What to expect from mediation

Whether you’re looking for help to resolve a family matter or need to attend Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) prior to applying to the court for parenting orders, MEDE8 Resolutions can guide you through the process every step of the way through our Gold Coast Affordable Mediation service. While the decision to seek mediation is a positive step for many people, it can also be unfamiliar and overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to explain the process for you. If we’ve missed something, please get in touch.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a process where people in conflict (the parties) engage with a neutral third party (a mediator) to try to resolve a dispute. Mediators are specially trained to help people find common ground and creatively explore different options to come to their own mutually-acceptable resolution. Mediation can help resolve disputes more quickly and without the legal costs and associated stress of taking the matter to court. Mediation is voluntary. To be successful, people should attend with an open mind, a willingness to listen and participate fully in the process.

 

Who attends mediation?

Sessions are attended by the people in dispute and the mediator. If you wish your legal advisor to attend please discuss this with your Mediator.  Support people may attend with the consent of the mediator and the other party.

 

What is Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)?

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a specialised form of mediation. An FDR Practitioner is a mediator who has undertaken intensive training to engage in FDR. It requires specialist knowledge of the Family Law Act and skills in relation to family law matters, including deep understanding of issues relevant to family separation and divorce, such as the impact of domestic and family violence, relational power dynamics and the effect family conflict has on children. For a practitioner to offer FDR they must be accredited with the Attorney-General’s Department.

 

Who attends FDR?

Generally, only the parents will attend FDR. If you would like a support person to attend, please discuss this with your mediator.

 

What if I don’t feel safe?

If you don’t feel safe, please discuss this with your mediator. We can offer a service where you will not need to be in the same room as the other party.

 

Will my children need to attend FDR?

Children do not attend FDR. The process is designed to assist parents working through a range of issues, currently in dispute, as a result of separation or divorce.  Depending on your circumstances and a range of factors such as the age and maturity of your child/ren, a specially trained family counsellor or child psychologist may talk separately and confidentially with your child/ren as part of the mediation process.  This will only happen with parental consent.  This is known as a 'Child-Inclusive Mediation'.  With the consent of the child/ren the child counsellor or psychologist will provide the child's views back to the parents during the mediation.  This allows for the child/ren's voice to be heard in the mediation.  Please feel free to ask us about this process if you would like further information regarding the Child-Inclusive process.

 

Are all cases suitable for mediation?

Not all cases are suitable for mediation and FDR. Prior to any mediation, the parties will be required to attend a pre-mediation conference to determine whether mediation or FDR is the right pathway. This usually takes between 60 to 90 minutes.

 

How long does mediation take?

We offer various mediation packages to suit your requirements.  Depending upon your individual needs, the nature of the issues in dispute and the complexity of the matter you may choose to invest in a range of mediation packages. As a guide, we have outlined a range of costs based on a 3-hour mediation on the opposite side of this page.  This can be discussed with you in more detail when you contact our service.

 

How much does it cost?

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Mediations

Pre-Mediation Intake and Safety Screening: $200.00 per person.

Invitation to other party to attend FDR: $150.00.

3-Hour Mediation:  $1,000.00 (shared equally by the parties = $500.00 per person).

*3-Hour Co-Mediation:  $1,400.00 (shared equally by the parties = $700.00 per person).

Issue of s60(I) Certificate: On request, if no mediation goes ahead - $150.00.

On-Line Mediation:  Available on Zoom at the above rates.

Telephone Mediation:  Available at the above rates.

Room Hire:  At cost, typically in the order of $150- $200.00 per person.

 

General Mediations

  • Neighbourhood disputes including fencing, retainer walls and overhanging tree branches;
  • Outstanding Debt issues.

Pre-Mediation Intake: (60-90 mintues) - $200.00 per person.

Invitation to other party to attend Mediation: $150.00.

3-Hour Mediation: $1,000.00 (shared equally by the parties = $500.00 per person).

*3-Hour Co-Mediation: $1,400.00 (shared equally by the parties = $700.00 per person).

On-Line Mediation: Available on Zoom at the above rates.

Telephone Mediation:  Available at the above rates.

Room Hire: At cost, typically in the order of $150.00 - $200.00 per person.

All services are to be paid in advance of the service delivery and at least 5 clear business days prior to the agreed date for the mediation to secure the booking.

Should the mediation be cancelled or postponed by the parties (or either of them) within 3 business days of the agreed date for the mediation a cancellation fee of $400.00 will apply.

* Two mediators (one female and one male) will facilitate the mediation process.  This model is helpful where there is a preference for a gender balance in the mediation room and brings more experience and a combined skill-set into the mediation room.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions on mediation pricing.

 

Who pays for mediation and the associated costs?

The costs of mediation and FDR are generally paid by each party in advance. We will invoice the parties separately, unless alternative arrangements are made in advance. Our Gold Coast Affordable Mediation service is based on the belief that every family should be able to access the services of an accredited, skilled mediator to help work through difficult times.  If you are the current holder of a pension card please contact us to discuss your eligibility for a discounted rate.

 

What is a 60I Certificate?

Section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) requires attendance at FDR prior to applying to the court for a parenting order. The requirement is that parties make a ‘genuine effort’ to resolve the dispute by family dispute resolution before an application for a parenting order is made to the court.

There are five different types of s60I certificates that an FDR practitioner may issue. Your mediator will discuss with you the most appropriate certificate for your circumstances. The issue of a s60I certificate is confirmation to the court that FDR has been attempted. This certificate needs to be attached to an application made to the court for parenting orders.

 

Where do I apply for a 60I Certificate?

Only an accredited FDR practitioner can issue a s60I certificate. Importantly, s60I certificates are valid for 12 months from the date of last attendance (or attempt) at FDR and cannot be issued after that time.

 

Where are the sessions held?

Mediations are held at various locations on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.