Family mediation, also known as family dispute resolution mediation, is an essential process that enables parties affected by divorce or separation to resolve their issues without going to court. In this blog post, we will provide an in-depth understanding of the family mediation process in Melbourne and Victoria, including the steps involved, the benefits of mediation, and other critical aspects you should know.
Step 1: Assessment of Appropriateness
The first step in the family mediation process is for the family dispute resolution practitioner (in this case, Shane McClure) to assess whether mediation is appropriate for the parties involved. The assessment involves an interview with the parties either in person, through video-conference, or on the telephone. It’s crucial to note that family dispute resolution is not appropriate in cases of urgency, child abuse, family violence, consent orders, or when the issue is only divorce or annulment.
Step 2: Initial Meeting
After it has been determined that family mediation is appropriate, the family dispute resolution practitioner will hold an initial meeting with both parties present (either physically or by phone). During this meeting, the practitioner will assist the parties in identifying the issues, proposing options for resolving those issues, studying and considering the options proposed by the other, and agreeing on a settlement that is in the best interest of the child/ren involved.
Step 3: Settlement
When a settlement has been reached, the parties may sign off on a parenting plan that sets forth the arrangement for the care and support of their children. While the parenting plan is not legally enforceable, parties can have it approved by the court to have the same effect as a parenting order.
Benefits of Family Mediation
The family mediation process offers several benefits, including:
- Confidentiality: Family mediation is a confidential process that allows parties to discuss sensitive issues in a safe and private setting.
- Cost-effective: Compared to court proceedings, family mediation is a cost-effective process that saves parties time and money.
- Faster resolution: Family mediation can often lead to a faster resolution of issues, allowing parties to move on with their lives.
- Voluntary participation: Family mediation is a voluntary process, allowing parties to participate without feeling coerced.
In summary, the family mediation process is an essential aspect of family law in Melbourne and Victoria. With the assistance of a family dispute resolution practitioner like Shane McClure, parties involved in divorce or separation can resolve their issues without going to court. If you need more information about the family mediation process or require assistance with family dispute resolution, please contact Shane McClure, who is always willing to assist.